As the conflict has dragged on for 15 months with no meaningful breakthrough, the travel industry is trying to minimize the damage.

It has good reason. An enlarged Chinese middle class has become a lucrative market for the U.S. travel industry. Close to 3 million Chinese tourists visited the U.S. last year. And they spent liberally, an estimated average of $6,700 per person per trip, exceeding the average spending of international tourists by more than 50%, according to the U.S. Travel Association.