Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Beijing, Shanghai travelers to take over as top-spending tourists in New York, LA

chinese tourist
 New York and Los Angeles will become top destinations for big spenders from China's two largest cities, Beijing and Shanghai, according to a new report.

Beijing will become the top “feeder city” for New York, beating Sao Palo, London, Paris and Toronto, according to the MasterCard 2015 Global Destination Cities Index, which estimates figures for this year.

Although Beijing will send the least amount of tourists to New York compared to the four other cities listed, Beijingers are estimated to spend an astonishing US$1.3 billion there.

Meanwhile, Shanghai tourists are estimated to spend the most money among Los Angeles' "top five feeder" cities. Visitors from Shanghai might be outnumbered by visitors from other cities like London and Vancouver, but they will spend around US$896 million, beating Tokyo's US$506 million.

The US reported bringing in US$165 billion in expenditure last year, an increase of 28 percent from the year before. A large bulk of the spending comes from the pockets of Chinese travelers, who last year benefitted from an extended visa agreement between the US and China.

So why are Chinese travelers flocking to the US? Hansi Men, an investment immigration lawyer at Streit & Su law firm, tells Business Insider that “Most people in China still think America is number one. Many Chinese parents also take their children to America to show them top schools like Yale and Harvard."

As Quartz points out, the surge in visitors from China isn't even at its peak yet. Today, less than 6 percent of China's population has a passport, and China is planning to further ease its passport system to increase urbanization. The number of outbound Chinese tourists are expected to double by 2020.

[via Quartz // Images via NYTimes//Mastercard//CNTV]

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