Last year, an estimated 230,000 Chinese travelers came to Boston, making China the number one international source market for the city; it surpasses the UK, which has long held the distinction. The new figure means that the number of visitors to Boston has doubled within the past four years.
Chinese tourists at Harvard University, one of Boston’s visitor attractions
Announcement of the change at the top was made by the Greater Boston CVB, which said the increase in Chinese visitor traffic is the result of increased direct air service between China and Boston, along with greater interest in the destination. A number of other factors have contributed to the greater interest—everything from the CVB’s increase in marketing and promoting Boston to the surge in attention and popularity the city received when it became known in China that Xi Mingze—the only child of China’s president, Xi Jinping, was a student at Harvard (she graduated in 2014).
The larger number of visitors to Boston—it has doubled in four years—has been facilitated by an increase in the number of direct flights between Boston and several cities in China. Next month, the CVB will lead its first sales mission to China in an effort to further increase those numbers. Specifically, the tourism bureau hopes to double it to a half-million visitors by the year 2021.
In making the announcement of the record-setting numbers of Chinese visitors, Pat Moscaritolo, president and CEO of the Greater Boston CVB, said that this is quite a brilliant opportunity for their visitor industry in order to leverage the incredible growth in China in their interest to pay visit to America. His department has decided to join the group of representatives heading there in March. Now is the ideal time, he said, to take the best advantage of this market.