The latest victim of Hawaii's tourism industry of a US-Chinese trade fight

The latest victim of Hawaii's tourism industry of a US-Chinese trade fight

Swimming pool at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu.

Amanda Macias | NCBC

KAYELA BAY, HI – An increasing cloud of economic concern is falling over Hawaii, as the ongoing trading war between the two largest economies in the world is a threat to Chinese tourist flow cut off.

Since June, visitor numbers from China fell by around 36% compared to the same period last year, according to figures supplied by the Hawaiian Tourism Authority.

"Hawaii wants to capture more of this lucrative market, but two federal issues reduce our growth opportunities: Trump visa requirements and trade policies. As long as the US puts restrictions on travel and accepts more political posture t opponent, China's holiday selection elsewhere, "Hawaii told SenBC Glenn Wakai said to CNBC.

"China is keen to travel, and they do it with a fat purse. Hawaii wants to set the beach mat to welcome it, but we can't do that unless the federal government provides the door, "he said.

Asia is a vital tourism sector for Hawaii, Wakai said.

"Tourism from all four in Hawaii is directly related to tourism, so the demand from Asia may have a negative impact on the economy of Hawaii to crush," he said.

Last month, President Donald Trump and President of China Xi Jinping agreed on the G-20 summit work lines in Japan to resume negotiations and not impose new tariffs on each other's goods. Trade talks fell in May, and the theft of intellectual property was a major step between both parties.

"We cannot let politics go the way, as at the end of the day, tourism is a major revenue income generator worldwide," said Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Travel and Tourism Association, with CNBC when invited. about the trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Hannemann said that there has been a decline in the number of Chinese visitors to Hawaii in recent years but that Trump's current policy does not administer the situation.

View of the beach at Kualoa Oahu Regional Park.

Amanda Macias | NCBC

In 2018, almost 10 million travelers from around the world visited the solar islands in Aloha, generating $ 18 billion and employing over 200,000 people. Approximately 20% of these visitors traveled from Asia, Japan, Korea and China providing the lion's share.

And while Chinese tourists account for less than 2% of total Hawaii visitors, they stay longer and spend more money compared to other Asian travelers. On average, a Chinese tourist stays just over eight days and spends about $ 350 per day while departing in Hawaii.

"Chinese is definitely known as high-end travelers. They like to eat in good restaurants, they visit upgraded shops, and they are also adventurous, as they are going on trips. and they would like to move around the island, "Hannemann said.

"There is also a lot in Hawaii that offers an opportunity to be very Chinese friendly in terms of the culture we have here," he said. "It's a place that they can easily recognize, and we see everything they want when they travel except in the case of gaming. So it's a market we know, and it's a good thing." The money generated from their visits to Hawaii we take seriously. "

"I hope leaders will prevail on this," he said.

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