Political tensions between US and China risk damaging tourism recovery
Following news that the US has announced it will ban mainland Chinese airlines from serving the US from June 16, airline industry experts said that he move from the US comes as Beijing continues to block US carriers from resuming service to China under a decision on March 26 by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC), which was designed to protect the country from the COVID-19 pandemic. If the political point scoring does not draw to a close, there will be serious consequences for the tourism industry in both countries.
The US is the third largest source market for China, whilst China is the fifth largest source market for the US. Both countries will rely on visitors from one another to restart the tourism economy, however, the current political situation puts that in serious jeopardy.
A ban on airlines between the countries puts a physical barrier in place for travelers. However, the social fracturing that these disputes cause will have a longer lasting effect. According to the most recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) Consumer Survey, 19% of Chinese respondents have no trust in American products, whilst 27% of American respondents have no trust in Chinese products.
The US Transportation Department said that the block on Chinese airline service is necessary to restore the competitive balance between US and Chinese carriers. However, the longer the dispute rumbles on, the more damage it will cause US airlines. Both countries need to quickly resolve the issue, or risk making recovery an enormous task for tourism businesses.