Beverly Hills Suffers Shopping Slump Amid Trump-China Trade War


The president’s battle with Beijing and visa policies on Gulf nations are taking a brutal toll on the tony retail zone, with sales down double digits and no relief in sight.Peak summer travel season has arrived in Beverly Hills, usually a prime time for tourists from China and the Gulf. But hospitality and shopping destinations are seeing notably fewer Ferraris with Arabic plates cruise Rodeo Drive as many well-heeled travelers bypass Los Angeles. At the same time, Chinese travelers to the U.S. dropped for the first time in 15 years, by 5.7 percent in 2018, according to the International Trade Administration. Blame it on the strong U.S. economy offering less international bang for the buck; trade war-induced propaganda, with China issuing U.S. travel alerts warning of shootings and robberies; and Trump administration visa restrictions. It all adds up to a notable decline in the flow of jet-setters who keep Beverly Hills’ chic boutiques humming. (L.A.’s Tourism & Convention Board reports that Chinese travelers to L.A. ranked No. 1 with a collective spend of $3.3 billion in 2018 and an average trip expenditure of $2,769 per person.)