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As Trade War With U.S. Grinds On, Chinese Tourists Stay Away

来源:纽约时报    2019-06-13 02:43

        A new battlefront has opened in the trade war between the United States and China: the $1.6 trillion American travel industry.        美国和中国之间的贸易战又开辟了一片新战场:价值1.6万亿的美国旅游业。
        A Los Angeles hotel long popular with Chinese travelers saw a 23 percent decline in visits last year and another 10 percent so far this year. In New York City, spending by Chinese tourists, who spend nearly twice as much as other foreign visitors, fell 12 percent in the first quarter. And in San Francisco, busloads of Chinese tourists were once a mainstay of one fine jewelry business; over the last few years, the buses stopped coming.        长期受中国游客欢迎的一家洛杉矶酒店去年访问量下降了23%,今年截至目前又下降了10%。在纽约市,消费额通常接近其他外国游客两倍的中国游客今年一季度下降了12%。而在旧金山,一车车中国游客曾是一个高档珠宝商家的支柱,过去几年,这些车不来了。
        Figures from the Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism Office show a sharp decline in the number of tourists from China last year.        商务部下属的国家旅行与旅游办公室(National Travel and Tourism Office)发布的数字显示,去年中国游客数量急剧减少。
        Industry professionals worry that the drop-off is picking up speed this year, affecting not just airlines, hotels and restaurants, but also retailers and attractions like amusement parks and casinos.        业内专业人士担心,下降趋势今年会加速,不仅会影响航空、酒店和餐饮,还将波及游乐场和赌场这类零售商及景点。
        Tori Barnes, executive vice president for public affairs and policy at the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group, said the Chinese were especially valuable because they were spending an average of $6,700 during their stays — 50 percent more than other international visitors.        贸易团体美国旅行协会(U.S. Travel Association)负责公共事务与政策的执行副会长托丽·巴恩斯(Tori Barnes)表示,中国人格外重要,因为他们停留期间平均会消费6700美元,比其他国际游客高50%。
        “International travelers actually help reduce the trade deficit,” Ms. Barnes said. “There isn’t as much thought given to the services industry being an export,” but, she added, it is a significant one.        “国际游客其实有助于降低贸易赤字,”巴恩斯说。“人们没有太考虑过,服务业也是一项出口,”而后又补充说这是一项重要的出口。
        According to data from the National Travel and Tourism Office, 2.9 million Chinese travelers visited the United States in 2018, down from 3.2 million in 2017.        据国家旅行与旅游办公室的数据,2018年访问美国的中国游客为290万人,低于2017年的320万人。
        This year’s rate is probably even lower, said Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, a consulting company. “It’s not getting better in 2019,” he said. “The risk is that it gets worse.        今年的数字很可能要更低,咨询公司旅游经济(Tourism Economics)总裁亚当·萨克斯(Adam Sacks)说。“2019年情况没有好转,”他说。“恐怕会更糟。”
        Mr. Sacks added: “If you look at the previous decade, Chinese travel increased at an annual average growth rate of 23 percent. Then it stops on a dime and begins to retrench in 2018.”        萨克斯还说:“如果你看前十年的情况,中国游客以平均每年23%的增长率增加。然后突然停止,2018年开始减少。”
        He pointed to what he described as “case study of this happening in the past, where China has essentially weaponized tourism.” In 2017, Chinese travel to South Korea fell by nearly 50 percent, he said, after South Korea deployed a missile defense system that China said could be used to spy on its territory.        他将其归因于他所说的“以往对这种情况的案例分析,当时中国基本上是拿旅游业当武器”。他说,在韩国部署了中国称可能会被用于监控中国领土的某导弹防御系统之后,2017年中国赴韩国游客下降了近50%。
        That example was cited in a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report last week in estimating a “worst-case scenario” of as much as a 50 percent decline in Chinese travel to the United States. Its analysts said that could mean a $18 billion hit to the American travel industry.        美银美林(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)上周的一份报告中曾引用此例,用以预估中国赴美游客下降高达50%的“最糟糕情形”。美银美林分析师表示,这可能意味着美国旅游业将遭受高达180亿美元的损失。
        The decline in Chinese tourism may be tied, in part, to a slowdown in the Chinese economy, which has left consumers with less money for discretionary spending. But travel industry professionals, international trade experts and economists say the bigger factor is the trade war and the inflammatory rhetoric associated with it. They say Beijing may see its sizable population of global travelers as a cudgel in its battle with the United States.        中国游客人数下降部分可能与中国经济放缓有关,这一点已经导致消费者手中可用于自主支出的钱减少。但旅游业专业人士、国际贸易专家和经济学家纷纷表示,更大的因素在于贸易战和与之相关的煽动性言辞。他们称在与美国的争端中,北京方面可能会将其可观的全球游客数量当作一样有力武器。
        “That is a real threat to the U.S., if the Chinese run out of options,” said Jan Freitag, senior vice president at travel research and data firm STR. “China has only so many things they can put a tariff on. The one thing where they have leverage is tourism outbound.”        “这对美国是个真正的威胁,如果中国人已经没别的路可走了,”旅行研究与数据公司STR高级副总裁简·弗赖塔格(Jan Freitag)说。“中国能加征关税的东西就只有这么多。他们手里的筹码就剩下出境游。”
        Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said Beijing’s tight grip on domestic media also gave it a pronounced advantage. “You have a political climate in China where the government-led press has clearly been hammering this issue,” he said.        彼得森国际经济研究所(Peterson Institute for International Economics)高级研究员雅各布·柯克加德(Jacob Kirkegaard)说,北京当局对国内媒体的牢牢控制也给了它明显优势。“中国的政治气候是,政府领导的媒体显然一直在强调这个问题,”他说。
        Michael O. Moore, professor of economics and international affairs at George Washington University, agreed. “That is potentially an enormous advantage in a conflict if you can control the message, without question,” he said. “There’s an increasingly patriotic spin to everything and the U.S. is portrayed in a negative light, and that can play a role in people’s decisions.”        乔治·华盛顿大学(George Washington University)经济学和国际事务教授迈克尔·O·摩尔(Michael O. Moore)对此表示赞同。“毫无疑问,如果你能控制信息,这在冲突中可能是一个巨大的优势,”他说。“所有事都有一种越来越强烈的爱国主义倾向性,对美国的描绘带上了负面色彩,这可能在人们的决策中发挥作用。”
        On June 4, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued an advisory about travel to the United States, saying its citizens have been interrogated, interviewed and subjected to other forms of what it called harassment by American law enforcement agencies. A day earlier, its Ministry of Education warned students bound for the United States that they risked visa delays or other potential disruptions, after the State Department began requiring most visa applicants to provide the agency with detailed information about their past five years of social media use.        6月4日,中国文化和旅游部发布了一份关于赴美旅游的建议,称中国公民受到了美国执法机构的检查、讯问以及据称的其他形式骚扰。一天前,中国教育部警告前往美国的学生,他们可能面临签证延误或其他潜在干扰的风险。此前,美国国务院开始要求大多数签证申请人向相关机构提供他们过去五年使用社交媒体的详细信息。
        “Announcements such as this can have a chilling effect,” Roger Dow, the president and chief executive of the U.S. Travel Association, said after the Chinese actions. “We continue to urge both governments not to politicize travel.”        “这样的公告可能会产生寒蝉效应,”美国旅游协会(U.S. Travel Association)会长兼首席执行官罗杰·道(Roger Dow)在中国采取行动后表示。“我们继续敦促两国政府不要将旅游政治化。”
        Big gateway cities in the United States benefited the most from the rise in Chinese tourism and are on the front lines of the fall. “For right now we’re holding to our 2018 numbers, but we are starting to see some indicators that are starting to show some softening in the first quarter,” said Christopher Heywood, executive vice president of global communications for NYC & Company, the city’s tourism marketing organization.        美国的门户大城市原本从中国旅游业的增长中获益最多,目前它们处于下滑的最前沿。“目前,我们还保持着2018年的数字,但我们开始看到一些指标在第一季度开始显示出一些疲软迹象,”纽约市旅游营销机构NYC 公司(NYC & Company)全球传播执行副总裁克里斯托弗·海伍德(Christopher Heywood)表示。
        The trade war and visa issues “are concerning to us,” he said. “All of the hurdles could translate into unintended consequences.”        贸易战和签证问题“令我们担忧,”他说。“所有这些障碍都可能转化为意想不到的后果。”
        Mr. Heywood said Chinese tourists in New York City spend roughly $3,000 per person in the five boroughs, nearly twice what other foreign visitors spend.        海伍德说,来纽约的中国游客在五个区内的人均消费约为3000美元,几乎是其他外国游客的两倍。
        Hotels are also caught in the crossfire. Mark D. Davis, president and chief executive of Sun Hill Properties, which owns the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, a popular destination for Chinese tourists, said that business had been improving through 2017 but fell last year and was weakening further so far this year.        酒店也被卷入这场交锋。太阳山地产(Sun Hill Properties)的总裁兼首席执行官马克·D·戴维斯(Mark D. Davis)表示,2017年全年,该公司的业务一直在改善,但去年出现了下滑,今年到目前为止还在进一步下滑。太阳山地产拥有深受中国游客欢迎的洛杉矶环球影城希尔顿酒店(Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City)。
        “The general messaging from the U.S. has been a little unfriendly at times,” Mr. Davis said. “The posturing, I think, has people worried.”        “美国发出的总体信息有时有点不友好,”戴维斯说。“我认为,这种姿态让人们感到担忧。”
        Even businesses that are more peripheral to tourism have seen sales to Chinese visitors dwindle. After the recession left the American dollar battered and the country a relative bargain for overseas tourists, the United States was an attractive destination for the Chinese.        即便是在旅游业中更为边缘化的产业,对中国游客的销售额也有所下降。在经济衰退导致美元贬值,美国对海外游客来说相对便宜之后,美国成了中国人心目中很有吸引力的目的地。
        “It sort of started in 2009 for us. We started to do some Chinese tourism business and it really just started to take off,” said Lane Schiffman, co-owner of Shreve & Company, a fine jewelry retailer with stores in San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif. “They were this incredible wave.”        “对我们来说,大概是始于2009年。我们开始做一些中国旅游业务,后来就真的开始起飞,”史瑞芙(Shreve & Company)所有人之一莱恩·希夫曼(Lane Schiffman)说,这是一家高档珠宝零售商,在旧金山和加州帕洛阿尔托都有门店。“他们带来的浪潮就是这么惊人。”
        As recently as a few years ago, charter buses booked by Chinese tour groups regularly delivered 20 to 30 passengers to his San Francisco shop, Mr. Schiffman said. But the buses have vanished.        希夫曼说,就在几年前,中国旅游团预订的大巴包车还会定期把20至30名乘客送到他在旧金山的分店。但现在这些大巴消失了。
        “The wave crested,” he said. “It’s just not a big part of our business now. We’re not seeing them on the street like we used to.”        “浪潮到达了顶峰,”他说。“现在它已经不是我们业务的大头。我们不像以前那样经常在街上看到他们了。”
        Mr. Schiffman said his stores were thriving thanks to the booming Bay Area and Silicon Valley economy, but he estimated that his overall international tourist business fell to 10 percent from 30 percent over the past few years.        希夫曼说,由于旧金山湾区和硅谷经济的繁荣,他的店生意兴隆,但他估计,过去几年,他的国际旅游业务从业务总量的30%下降到了10%。
        “It seemed like maybe the Chinese government put pressure on people not to buy so much outside of China,” Mr. Schiffman said. “It’s kind of like they turned the faucet off.”        “中国政府好像给人们施加了压力,让他们不要在国外买那么多东西,”希夫曼说。“有点像他们关掉了水龙头。”

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