Maine Attracts Growing Number of Chinese Tourists

Bar Harbor, Maine, August 26, 2015, ( — Chinese tourists visiting the United States tend to flock to cities like New York, Washington DC and Las Vegas but a direct flight that began last year from Beijing to Boston is opening up new areas– like the state of Maine– to Chinese visitors.
Captain John Nicolai with Chinese tourists (CBS NEWS).

The Bar Harbor area in Maine historically was the summer home to America’s most wealthy families like the Rockefellers, Astors and Vanderbilts but now you’ll increasingly see Chinese tourists strolling its streets. Local businesses have taken notice and are doing all they can to cater to them.

Captain John Nicolai gives lobster-fishing tours in the area. He is learning Mandarin because he sees growing numbers of Chinese mainland tourists on his boat.

Maine is the lobster capital of the world and a top draw for Chinese tourists who have developed a taste for the pricey crustaceans. Wu Xiaorong is a member of the Maine China Network, created in 2011 to help facilitate more interaction between Maine and Chinese mainland.

With growing business between the two, the number of tourists to Maine is only expected to grow. And hotel managers like Jim Ash are trying to figure out how best to make them feel welcome.

The efforts this community is making should pay off. The average Chinese tourist spends over 7-thousand dollars per trip in the U.S. That’s more than any other nationality. So it makes good business sense to woo Chinese tourists.