When tourists descend on the Buffalo/Niagara region this summer, many of them will carry a Chinese passport. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism industries, China tops the five income markets for overseas visitors to this region. Between 2006 and 2013, the percentage of Chinese visitors to the United States jumped 464 percent.
Chenchen Huang, associate professor of hospitality and tourism, can speak to the reasons behind this sharp increase, including President Obama’s new visa policy, which extends validity limits to 10 years for business and leisure travelers from only six months previously, and the rise of the Chinese middle class over the past two decades.
Chenchen also can address the economic impact Chinese and other Asian visitors make on Western New York each year, as well as what cultural sensitivities Americans should be aware of. For instance, in Chinese culture, it’s considered rude to make eye contact while speaking to someone.
A native of Shanghai, China, Chenchen came to the United States to enroll in the doctorate program in the Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sports Management at the University of Florida. He joined the Buffalo State Hospitality and Tourism Department Department faculty in 2008.
He said he was attracted to Buffalo State partially due to the city’s cultural offerings.
“Buffalo is a good place for someone in tourism,” said Chenchen . “You’ve got everything—sports, cultural attractions, shopping, restaurants, and nice people.”
To reach Chenchen, call (716) 878-5664.
About Chenchen Huang
Since 2008, Chenchen Huang has served as an associate professor of hospitality and tourism at Buffalo State where he teaches such courses as Cultural Tourism, Tourism Management, Hotel Management, and Sustainability in Hospitality Management. He holds a master’s degree in tourism management from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and a doctorate in health and human performance with a specialization in tourism from the University of Florida, Gainesville. His research areas include: destination management; tourism planning; tourism marketing; cultural tourism; heritage tourism; sustainable tourism, and tourism branding for the city of Buffalo
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