File photo taken on Aug. 7, 2011 shows the scenery of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, the United States. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
WASHINGTON, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Tourists from China to the United States dropped for the first time in 15 years, despite that the total outbound trips of Chinese tourists rose significantly.
Data released on Tuesday by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office showed that the number of Chinese tourists travelling to the United States fell 5.7 percent to 2.9 million last year.
However, Chinese tourists' overall trips across the border maintained its strong growth in 2018. Data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China showed that a total of 149.72 million outbound trips were made by Chinese tourists in 2018, up 14.7 percent from the previous year.
Besides, the total number of outbound and inbound trips by Chinese tourists hit 291 million in 2018, up 7.8 percent year-on-year, according to the ministry.
As the population and purchasing power of China's middle class grows, Chinese tourists now have more choices for outbound trips during their holidays.
According to a report released by the China Tourism Academy and Chinese travel services provider Ctrip, the United States ranked the 7th favorite destination of Chinese tourists in 2018, following Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The report also showed that Chinese tourists were increasingly inclined to go to more convenient, safer, stable and friendly destinations.