China_Tourism_89540 US tourism
In this Nov. 12, 2017, file photo tourists from China pose for photographs at Rockefeller Center in New York. Image Credit: AP

Chinese travel to the US is falling after more than a decade of rapid growth. And that has cities, malls and other tourist spots scrambling to reverse the trend.

Travel from China to the US fell 5.7 per cent in 2018 to 2.9 million visitors, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. It was the first time since 2003 that Chinese travel to the US slipped from the prior year.

Trade tensions with the US as well as economic uncertainty in China are among the reasons for the slowdown.

China commands some of the highest tourism traffic to the US and any fall-off will be felt by destinations that rely on Chinese spending power. Experts say the tourism industry must do more to keep up with Chinese travellers and their changing needs.