China is warning its citizens to stop traveling to the United States. The warning comes during a trade war between the two countries and if the conflict continues, those within the industry say Hawaii could end up losing.
             
"They don't necessarily ask how much it costs they're just willing to spend," said Mufi Hannemann, President of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association.

It shows in the numbers. Chinese tourists spend an average of $356 per person per day here. That's over a $100 more than Japanese and nearly $180 more than visitors from the West Coast. Without them, Hawaii would lose roughly $370 million over a year.

"This is not good news," said Hannemann.

"This is the Chinese government talking to its people saying don't go here don't go there, that's very different from the American government telling you don' go here don't go there right. You might still want to take your chances and go but it's very different when the Chinese government talks to you as a Chinese citizen as to what and how you should live your life," said Senator Glenn Wakai.

Wakai says a drop in Chinese visitors would hurt high end retailers, hotels, and restaurants. He says prior to the U.S. China Trade War, Hawaii had been spending more money to try to lure more Chinese to visit the state to try to capitalize on the money they spend, but now Hawaii should hold off.

"There are three million people that went to the United States from China last year. Hawaii captured 136,000 which is less than half of 1% so there's great possibilities and great potential for the Chinese market but now is not a good time to try and anticipate growth," said Wakai.

Senator Wakai says the state should wait for the trade war to end. Former Mayor Hannemann agrees.    

"I think we would get hurt across the board which was another reason that our overarching message has been for government to stop taxing us," said Hannemann.