More than 175,000 tourists from China will visit the Seattle area this year. From Sept. 16-21, the city will lay the groundwork for even more visits in the future.
The 2019 U.S.-China Tourism Leadership Summit – which alternates between a Chinese city and one in the United States – will bring more than 150 attendees to the city, including 27 from China and more than 100 from across the United States.
“This leadership summit allows us to showcase Seattle and the Puget Sound region to leading travel and tourism executives,” says Visit Seattle president and CEO Tom Norwalk. “It also provides Visit Seattle and our partners a compelling opportunity to showcase the best of what our region offers and position Seattle as a must-visit destination for the lucrative China market.”
Visit Seattle, which serves as King County’s tourism marketing agency, says China became Seattle’s top overseas inbound visitor market in 2010. Last year, 185,100 visitors from China spent $224 million here, or an average of $1,200 per person.
The summit is particularly important because Chinese tourism in both Seattle and the United States is projected to fall this year, due mainly to trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Visit Seattle estimates that 175,800 visitors will spend $220.1 million in the region this year.
Nationally, travel from China to the U.S. fell 6% last year, to 2.9 million visitors, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. It was the first drop since 2000.
Despite the dip, Visit Seattle estimates that the number of Visitors from China to the Puget Sound region will grow to more than 300,000 in the next five years.