Chinese flock to the USA

BANGKOK, 24 August 2017; If there any doubts where Chinese travellers are going these days, the latest study from tracks the trip trends.

Some of the findings are surprising for those who marvel at the queues of Chinese passing through Thailand’s gateway airports.

According to’s Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) the USA was the second most popular long-haul destination for Chinese travellers in 2016, behind France. But while both destinations topped the long-haul destinations, Asia-Pacific’s popular destinations gobbled up the numbers to stay top of the pile, globally.

The main reason for the boom in US-bound trips was the decision to extend visas for short-term business travellers, tourists and students.

For example if Thailand further eased its visa regulations for Chinese visitors it would be like drilling a hole in dam wall. The flood  of first time travellers would swamp Thailand in valuable Yuan currency.

In total, the 2016 CITM revealed 122 million outbound Chinese tourists left home on holidays, an increase of 4% from 2015 and 74% from 2011.

Cities in the Asia-Pacific region remain the most popular, with 82% of Chinese travellers visiting them over the last year, but the tourism numbers have climbed to Europe and North America  by 25% and 11% increases, respectively.

“CITM reveals that the United States is one of the top five countries Chinese travellers visit the most,” vice president Josh Belkin said in a statement.

CITM also noted Hawaii, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle and San Francisco were among the top US destinations for Chinese travellers.