Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama recently declared 2016 to be the year of China-U.S. Tourism. This declaration recognizes both U.S. tourism to China and China visitation to the U.S.
2016 also is the Year of the Monkey, and the February tourist rush from China has come as Chinese tourists are celebrating Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California celebrated the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures during the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure park from February 5-8. The event included guest performing groups, local artisans, Disney characters, and special food and merchandise. The celebration welcomed Consul General Liu Jian from the Chinese Consulate of Los Angeles, Richard Swanson of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and CNTO Los Angeles Director Wang Yanjie, along with talented dancers and acrobats from China’s Shenzhen municipality for a special performance.
Another celebration was held at Universal Studio in Los Angeles with an event promoting China-U.S. Tourism year 2016, in partnership with the Chinese Consulate of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. Universal Studio has made its Spring Festival celebration an annual event as Chinese tourists become its largest source of international visitors. More than 800,000 Chinese tourists visited Los Angeles last year.
China will invest 20 percent more in its tourism industry in the coming year, compared to 2015, with the goal of increasing the industry’s annual revenue will by 10 percent. Investment is expected to rise to 1.2 trillion yuan ($180 billion), with projected revenue expected to reach 4.55 trillion yuan ($682 billion).
Chinese are expected to make 4.38 billion trips for tourism within China this year, up 9.5 percent over 2015, and revenue from their travels will rise by 11 percent year on year to 3.8 trillion yuan ($570 billion).
A total of 263 million tourist trips are expected for Chinese going abroad and foreigners coming into China in 2016, up 5 percent year over 2015.
Overall, tourism is playing an increasingly important role in China’s economy, accounting for about 10.8 percent of total GDP growth and 10.2 percent of national employment in 2015.