Number of Chinese visitors continues to grow as NYC sets new tourism record

December 19, 2016

For the past decade, the number of Chinese tourists visiting NYC has been on the rise, and of the city’s record-breaking 60.3 million visitors in 2016, more than 950,000 were from China. This is a “sevenfold increase since 2007,” reports the Times, which notes how the city’s tourism department, NYC & Company, is catering to the growing demographic, as they’re spending more freely than visitors from Europe who have seen the value of the euro decrease in comparison to the dollar.

Back in 2007, there were 15 countries, including Switzerland and Israel, who had more visitors to NYC than China. But today, only Britain (with a total of 1.2 million) has more, which China is expected to surpass by 2022. They’ve also jumped ahead of Brazil and Canada for the first time.

Historically, the Chinese have come to New York in large tour groups and stayed at hotels outside the city, and though this is still quite common, the city has begun to cater to a new individual traveler. When 6sqft reported last year on Chinese tourism, it was noted that “a new policy that will extend Chinese visas from just one year to ten,” may have helped spur the increase. The trend also coincides with a sharp uptick in Chinese investing in the New York real estate market. In fact, last year, 75 Percent of Manhattan’s all-cash buyers had Chinese last names, which has led big-name real estate firms to hire Chinese brokers specifically to cater to this growing clientele.

Therefore, according to Fred Dixon, the chief executive of NYC & Company, the “individual travel market is the biggest opportunity. That’s the future of the Chinese market.” And there will be plenty of funding to attract these travelers, as this year the city increased NYC & Company’s budget by $3.5 million, up to roughly $21 million.

[Via NYT]


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