State Department Warns Americans About Traveling to China

Ancient Chinese architecture

The US State Department issued a travel advisory today warning Americans to exercise increased caution when visiting China due to what it called arbitrary enforcement of local laws and special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.

The new advisory notes that “Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving China by using exit bans, sometimes keeping U.S. citizens in China for years.”

MORE Impacting Travel

Capitol Building in Washington, DC

President Trump Announces Deal to End Shutdown, Alleviate…

Bed bug on a blanket

Experts Warn Travelers of Insecticide-Resistant Bed Bugs

White House is Reviewing the Travel Ban to North Korea

In addition, the State Department claims that China uses exit bans coercively to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations, to lure individuals back to China from abroad and aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.

“In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of the exit ban when they attempt to depart China, and there is no method to find out how long the ban may continue,” states the advisory, adding that U.S. citizens under exit bans have been harassed and threatened.

U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime, the advisory notes. And U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to “state security.”

The State Department also said that China does not recognize dual nationality. U.S.-Chinese citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and China may prevent the U.S. Embassy from providing consular services.

The new warning is a level-two advisory, which suggests travelers use increased caution. A level-one advisory indicates travelers should exercise normal precautions and a level-three destination advisory suggests Americans reconsider travel altogether.

Where Your State Wants to Travel the Most

Map of the United States, most mentioned travel destinations

It’s no secret that Americans want to travel the world in 2019. But where does your state want to go in the New Year?

The folks over at DaringPlanet.com recently analyzed geotagged tweets including hashtag #vacation, #travel and similar terms (more than 200,000 tweets) over the last month to determine each state’s most mentioned travel destination. Keep in mind that any place from within its own state was omitted to avoid false positives such as people visiting New York City tweeting about being there.

MORE Destination & Tourism

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

gallery icon

What to See and Do in Atlanta Super Bowl Weekend

Les Saintes Bay in Guadeloupe, Caribbean

gallery icon

2019 Travel Guide to the Caribbean

gallery icon

50 Best Cities Around the World for Foodies

The results suggest that Americans’ most preferred vacation destination is actually located within the U.S. as Hawaii was the top destination for more than one-third of the 49 eligible states.

Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming all pointed to the 50th U.S. state as their ideal 2019 getaway.

Meanwhile, 10 percent of the country wants to vacation in Italy, with Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Washington dreaming of the European hotspot more than any other place. Florida wasn’t far behind Italy, conquering the hearts and minds of four states across the country, including Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi and Rhode Island.

In addition to Hawaii and Florida, California (Ohio), New York (Florida and Nevada) and Tennessee (Alabama) have captured Americans imaginations this year. The latter is arguably the most head-scratching as Tennessee and Alabama literally share a border.

At least three states—Kansas, Montana and Oregon—mentioned Thailand more than any other place when referring to vacation travel.

It should come as no surprise though that residents of frigid Minnesota are eyeing the Bahamas this year while it’s only fitting (and funny) that the cannabis-friendly state of Colorado is drawn to the birthplace of Rastafarianism, Jamaica. Nonetheless, the Caribbean destination has a ton to offer American visitors looking to escape the cold, including amazing beaches and natural attractions, phenomenal cuisine and a whole lot more.

Map of the United States, most mentioned travel destinations

Other destinations stealing U.S. states’ hearts in 2019 include Costa Rica (Idaho), France (Michigan), Greece (New York), Iceland (Vermont and Utah) Mexico (California), Scotland (Arkansas), Spain (South Carolina) and Sweden (Alaska).

While 18 states have Hawaii on the brain in 2019, the Aloha State is most interested in something much more specific in Yellowstone National Park, which is the nation’s first national park and one that should be on every travelers’ radar this year.

South Dakota has its sights set on the Grand Canyon in the New Year while Louisiana and Missouri covet Walt Disney World more than any other travel destination.

So, where will you go in 2019?