This week, U.S. Travel CEO Geoff Freeman traveled to Xi'an, China, to attend Brand USA’s U.S.–China Tourism Leadership Summit. The summit convened Chinese and American travel industry leaders to discuss the future of travel between the two nations.

Recent data shows renewed interest among Chinese visitors in traveling to the U.S. Travel demand is soaring, indicating a clear resurgence of outbound tourism from China across many key markets. In 2023, the U.S. welcomed 1.1 million visitors from China, a dramatic increase from 368,000 in 2022.

However, these numbers are still only a fraction of the 2.8 million arrivals in 2019. Pre-pandemic, China was the largest outbound market and a major contributor to the U.S. economy. Chinese visitors not only came in large numbers but also spent more than any other market, with each visitor spending over $5,000 per trip. This year, 85% of Chinese travelers report planning to spend more on travel than last year, far surpassing the global average of 65%.

International visitors are vital to the U.S. economy, generating $155 billion in travel spending annually and helping to balance the U.S. trade deficit, as travel spending is one of the biggest export services for the United States. According to the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), there were 66.5 million international visits to the U.S. in 2023, reflecting 31% annual growth. However, this represents only 84% of pre-pandemic levels.

U.S. Travel is continuing its efforts to boost international visitation, including those from China, by advocating for policies that will lower visitor visa wait times, make travel easier, attract global visitors and ultimately, grow U.S. market share.

The 14th U.S.-China Tourism Leadership Summit laid the groundwork for enhanced relations between the United States and China within the travel industry, encouraging collaboration among key stakeholders and charting a path forward for the future of tourism between the world’s two largest economies.

Brand USA China Summit - UST CEO Geoff Freeman and Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta

Pictured: Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta (Left) & U.S. Travel CEO Geoff Freeman (Right)

U.S. Travel

For more information about this blog, please contact us at: