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Chinese tourists in the Forbidden City in Beijing. GREG BAKER / AFP

They are the collateral victims of the war between Donald Trump and China. According to a Financial Times survey, tourism professionals in the United States are helplessly watching the flight of Chinese tourists. For the first time in 16 years, the share of travelers from China declined in 2018.

Traveling to the United States has generally become less attractive to a Chinese tourist. At the administrative level first, since the beginning of tensions, visas are more difficult to obtain.

There is also a desire from Beijing to dissuade its citizens from going to the United States. In June, the authorities advised to avoid US soil, officially because of " shootings, thefts and assaults ".

The devaluation of the yuan in question

But beyond that, the economic war weakens the portfolio of Chinese tourists. With the devaluation of the yuan, taking a plane to New York or San Francisco has become less accessible for a Pekingese or a Shanghai for example.

And this devaluation also affects the on-site buying power of tourists. Luxury is the first area affected. Several US brands such as Tiffany or Macy's have recorded a decline in sales to foreigners this year, a decrease they believe related to the flight of Chinese holidaymakers.

A Chinese in the United States is an average of $ 7,000 spent per trip. A French pays half as much.