In a shock announcement, the plans are revealed for the future of the IHT.
It is to be turned into a Chinese language publication, and in keeping with its long tradition of serving travellers and expats, it will be printed and distributed in NY in Chinese.
New York sees big potential in a new wave of Chinese tourists
New York looks a lot like Shanghai," said Fu Jiang Li, 47, as he studied the bronze peace sculpture with its knotted gun barrel on United Nations Plaza. He should know, because that's where he's from. "But China has only one Shanghai — and America has so many big, modern cities."
Li, an air-conditioning engineer, was here on business, but he was having a look around, too — and that put him at the leading edge of a growing wave of prosperous Asian tourists who may soon enough be posing before New York City's trophy monuments, trooping in and out of buses and megapixeling everything in sight.
While once Japanese tourists were ubiquitous in New York City, the oncoming wave of visitors is from mainland China. City officials, hospitality merchants and culture executives see them quite simply as the golden future: a rare growth sector in a cooling economy.
Last year Chinese travelers spent $2,204 per visit in New York City, in contrast to $1,807 for some 283,000 visitors from Japan, according to NYC & Company, the city's tourism and marketing bureau. Though the number of visitors from Japan dwarfs the 160,000 visitors from China, a new agreement between China and the United States has, as of last Tuesday, permitted travel agencies for the first time to offer packaged tours to New York and other American cities, tourism officials say. Since previously only business and government travelers were approved, the accord is likely to significantly increase the flow of visitors.
"All the Chinese want to come here," said Charlie Shao, president of Galaxy Tours, which brought in 1,082 business tour groups with more than 10,000 Chinese last year. "We think it will be a very big market and the airlines will need to fly very big jets."