The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a warning to its citizens on Tuesday to exercise caution before going to the U.S. for tourist visits.
This alert comes after recent criminal cases including mass shootings, robberies and thefts occurred in the U.S..
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) also reminded Chinese citizens to improve safety awareness and stay alert when visiting the U.S., said a spokesperson on Tuesday in a regular press briefing.
Beijing’s response comes after reports that Chinese citizens were allegedly harassed by U.S. authorities during their entry and exit checks, said the spokesperson.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting the U.S. last year dropped for the first time in 15 years, dropping 5.7 percent to 2.9 million in 2018 according to data from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office.
People who work in the U.S. tourism sector have been worried about the decline. In order to attract more Chinese tourists, many hotels in San Francisco have staff members who can speak the language and offer services specific to Chinese tourists said a manager of a hotel in San Francisco.
Despite the drop in Chinese tourists to the U.S. last year, the overall outbound trips of Chinese tourists maintained its strong growth in 2018. A total of 149.72 million outbound trips were made by Chinese tourists in 2018, up 14.7 percent year-on-year, according to the data from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Chinese tourists were increasingly inclined to go to more convenient, safer, stable and friendly destinations, according to a report released by the China Tourism Academy and Chinese travel services provider Ctrip.