International visitation to the United States is slowly picking up steam, even amid struggles with excessive wait times for visitor visas and travel advisories being issued by other nations in response to the gun violence in this country.
Data recently released from the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) shows that visitors to the United States spent more than $17.3 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States in April. That’s an increase of almost 26 percent over the same month one year earlier.
It’s also the 25th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Americans, meanwhile, spent a record-setting $17.2 billion traveling abroad, which results in a balance of trade surplus of $83 million for the month. The new figures effectively reverse a trend of seven consecutive months of balance of trade deficits for U.S. travel and tourism.
Additionally, revised data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis suggest that international visitors spent nearly $67.2 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services between January and April 2023. That too is a major improvement, an increase of a substantial 45 percent compared to 2022.
Further underscoring the importance of international visitors, the NTTO said this travel demographic has injected, on average, nearly $560 million a day into the U.S. economy year-to-date.
Here’s some of the additional highlights from the latest report:
-Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $9.7 billion during April 2023. That’s up from $7.2 billion in April 2022, which amounts to an increase of nearly 35 percent compared to the previous year. The goods and services included in the measurement include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.
-Travel receipts accounted for 56 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in April 2023.
-Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled $3.1 billion in April 2023, up from $2.4 billion the previous year. That’s an increase of 31 percent year-over-year. These receipts represent expenditures by foreign residents on international flights provided by U.S. air carriers.
-Passenger fare receipts accounted for 18 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in April 2023.
Another recent report, this one from the World Travel & Tourism Council, found that the U.S. travel and tourism sector will achieve record-breaking highs as the year continues, outstripping even 2019’s pre-pandemic peaks.
The U.S. Travel Association meanwhile, has been calling on the government to improve the visa wait times for visitors seeking to come to this country in order to keep the U.S. competitive with other destinations.
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