Based on the information from Forward Keys, the weekly reservations for flights to the U.S. from China increased by 2%, between February’s last week, after the Chinese New Year, and 23 March, when the first currency rates came into effect.
In August, nevertheless, that same index dropped 8.4% in the year-to-year comparison, following the new rates announced. The negative impact on the Chinese currency, which fell 7.5% against the US dollar since the changes, and the warnings from Beijing about the safety risks related to the United States, have all influenced this trend.
“Our findings strongly suggest that President Trump’s trade war has had a significant impact on the Chinese tourism to the United States and flights to the U.S. as well. When we look at the year so far, we see a drop in Chinese arrivals of almost 5%. If the trend remains the same until the end of the year, the U.S. economy will lose half a billion dollars in 2018, according to our estimates”, says the CEO and Co-Founder of Forward Keys, Olivier Jager.
The data also revealed that, for the remainder of 2018, Chinese reservations for the North American country have dropped 9.6% when compared to the same period of last year, but the global reservations are 5.5% higher. This pattern of growth throughout the world, contradicting U.S.’s downward trend, is consistent in all months except in October, the period of the Golden Week, which includes the National Day of China.
The greatest impact has been felt regarding the group reservations (with six or more passengers), from China to the United States, which have fallen 34.4% compared to last year. The reservations of independent travelers fell 3.9%, as leisure trips are more affected than business travels and visits to friends and relatives.