On the heels of the recent agreement between the United States and Chinese governments to facilitate Chinese travel to the U.S, a study is in the works to gain a better understanding of the Chinese long-haul travel market, its potential for U.S. destinations and businesses, and Chinese views of the United States in general and as a travel destination in particular. The Travel Industry Association has teamed with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel and Tourism Center at the University of South Carolina and the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries/U.S. Department of Commerce to conduct the study.
Nearly 10,000 Chinese citizens are being surveyed over three phases of the project to provide data that will be published in two reports. Data from the first phase should be released early this year. So far, statistics from that report show that 8 percent of urban Chinese adults have taken a trip outside mainland China in the past three years. The U.S. is one of the most common countries visited by Chinese long-haul travelers and one of the most frequently cited "dream destinations" for Chinese citizens.Attracting these travelers is critical for the U.S. travel industry because Chinese travelers to the U.S. spend approximately $6,000 per trip, the highest of any international traveler, according to the Travel Industry Association. Visit www.tia.org. (DB)