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US Visa Update: Chinese visitors to US skyrocket 68%
By Juwai, 24 February 2015
President Obama’s recent US visa update has sparked a Chinese travel boom to the US.
US B1 Business Visas and US B2 Tourist Visas issued to Chinese travellers heading to the US have risen dramatically by 68.2% in Dec 2014 and Jan 2015, says the US State of Department.1
Ctrip Group – China’s leading travel portal – also reported having sold 30,000 US trips to Chinese travellers in 2014 – a 60% increase from 2013.2
Clearly, Chinese interest in having an American vacation is swelling, and experts now predict Chinese tourists to the US will increase by more than 50% in 2015.3
Get the welcome mats out, America
The news about hordes of Chinese journeying to American shores will be, beyond doubt, a blessing for the US.
Chinese tourists have been hailed as the world's biggest spenders on international travel9, and are the fastest-growing luxury buyers in the world.6 In fact, Chinese luxury consumers spent $106 billion on global luxury products in 2014 alone, 76% of which was bought abroad.7
Within the US, Chinese travellers spend on average $6,000 – $7,200 per trip, which is way more than any other group.3 And if that’s not enough to persuade you (property agents, in particular) to set out the welcome mat, here are some stats to convince you:
In 2013, 1.8 million Chinese travelled to the US – delivering US$21.1 billion to the US economy and supporting over 109,000 US jobs.4
With the latest easing of the US visa requirements, 2015 is set to bring about great benefits to the US. According to the White House, some of the projected benefits of the visa update are:
- Arrival of 7.3 million Chinese visitors to US by 20215
- Contribution of US$85 billion per year to US economy5
- Support of up to 440,000 jobs in the US5
Forget the welcome mat. Perhaps it’s time to roll out the red carpet to welcome the Chinese instead.
New US visa impact on real estate
The American Dream is very much alive for the Chinese.
Some desire a better lifestyle there. Others seek further success, and the opportunity to diversify their investments. Many favour it as the top choice for their children’s education. Regardless of their motivations, the US remains the #1 investment destination for China’s wealthy.
Chinese buyers spent US$22 billion on American property in 2014 alone.8
On the homefront, we’ve seen a notable 35% spike in demands for US properties on Juwai.com since the visa update in November 2014 – clear evidence that rich Chinese investors, who are ever quick on the uptake, are heavily taking advantage of the new 10-year business and tourism visas to property hunt at the same time.
Interestingly, Juwai data shows that Chinese property investors are expanding their reach away from traditional favourites, such as Los Angeles in California. Instead, secondary cities are rapidly gaining Chinese interest, with Seattle running as a hot favourite in the meantime, thanks to this.
Nevertheless, high net worth Chinese buyers have a penchant for property hunting while on holiday. Aptly termed as "Fly 'n Buy" Chinese, the golden rule to remember is this: Wherever they travel, is where they will buy.
US property agents would do well to remember this, and start preparing ahead for the imminent arrival of the Chinese – wherever they may be – because things are bound to get exciting this year in the US.
Juwai quick tips for US property agents
If you’re already on Juwai, you’re on the right track. Just make sure your listings are up to date with plenty of compelling photos.
For those not on Juwai yet, here are three quick tips for you:
- Get your listings seen: Remember China’s Great Firewall? If Chinese buyers can’t see you, that means you’re not even in the game. Get listed online right now on Juwai.com to ensure prominent visibility to potential Chinese investors.
- Translate your listings: Less than 1% of Mainland Chinese speak English. Needless to say, getting your listings translated to Simplified Chinese is necessary. Juwai offers local professional translators, which guarantees your listing is safe from machine translation disasters.
- Learn the language and culture: You can't sell to Chinese buyers if you don't understand what makes them tick. Try studying a bit on Chinese culture, or pick up some simple Chinese. A little effort goes a long way, and they may be more amenable knowing you're making an effort to learn their language and culture.
Trust us when we say all this will be worth it. After all, with 63 million (and still growing) upper-middle-class Chinese and 220 million affluent Chinese predicted by the time we hit 2022, we're only at the tip of the iceberg.
The Chinese outbound investment cycle is only just beginning, and you'd be crazy not to get a slice of the pie.
Bewildered and in need of help?
Fret not. Just contact us today, and we’ll be more than happy to help you get started on your China campaign now.
Sources: 1. US State Department; 2. WSJ; 3. Forbes; 4. White House “Supporting American Job Growth and Strengthening Ties by Extending US/China Visa Validity for Tourists, Business Travelers, and Students” Fact Sheet; 5. White House; 6. CEIC data; 7. Luxury Consulting and Research Institute “China Luxury Report”; 8. NAR (National Association of Realtors); 9. World Tourism Organisation
[Image source: 美国大使馆]
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