WASHINGTON, DC – The US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration today released tourism data revealing that international visitors spent an estimated US$14 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States in April 2012 – US$1.5 billion more (12 percent) than was spent in April 2011.
The new data reaffirms the importance of the Obama Administration’s efforts to increase travel and tourism in the United States and comes on the heels of the release of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy last month. The National Strategy is a blueprint for the Federal government to welcome 100 million international visitors each year by the end of 2021. The visitors would spend an estimated US$250 billion per year, supporting more jobs and spurring economic growth in communities across the country.
“This Administration is committed to doing everything we can to support the travel and tourism industry by making sure America is the top destination for international visitors,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez, “The travel data announced today marks 28 consecutive months of uninterrupted growth in the travel and tourism sector. We will keep up efforts to support this vital industry, which supports more than 7.6 million American jobs and boosts our economy.”
The new data shows that purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors to the United States totaled US$10.7 billion during April, an increase of 11 percent compared to last year. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel. Fares received by US carriers (and US vessel operators) from international visitors increased by nearly 15 percent to US$3.4 billion for the month, surpassing the all-time record for monthly passenger fare receipts.
The US travel and tourism industry is on pace for a record-setting year – international visitors have spent an estimated US$54.6 billion in 2012 so far, which is an increase of 13 percent when compared to the same four month period last year. Americans have also spent nearly US$40.0 billion abroad year to date – resulting in a US$14.7 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through the first four months of 2012. These positive trends are helping to advance the President’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling US exports by the end of 2014.
To learn more about Commerce’s ongoing efforts to attract international visitors, visit www.trade.gov .