Data recently released by the US National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) show that in March 2022:
- International visitors spent $10.1 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States, an increase of 90 percent compared to March 2021.
- Americans spent $9.2 billion traveling abroad, yielding a balance of trade surplus of $894 million for the month—the fifth consecutive month during which the United States enjoyed a balance of trade surplus for travel and tourism.
- The increase in ‘Travel Spending’ accounted for the overwhelming majority (75%) of the year-over-year increase in U.S. travel exports in March 2022, followed by ‘Passenger Fare Receipts’ (21%) and ‘Medical/Education/Short-Term and Seasonal Workers Spending’ (4%).
Composition of Monthly Spending (Travel Exports)
- Travel Receipts
- Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $5.0 billion in March 2022 (compared to $1.4 billion in March 2021), an increase of 251 percent when compared to the previous year.
- For a pre-pandemic perspective, travel receipts totaled $12.1 billion in March 2019. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.
- Travel receipts accounted for 50 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in March 2022.
- Passenger Fare Receipts
- Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled nearly $1.7 billion in March 2022 (compared to $662 million in March 2021), an increase of 153 percent when compared to the previous year.
- For a pre-pandemic perspective, the United States exported nearly $3.3 billion in passenger air transportation services in March 2019. These receipts are expenditures by foreign residents on international flights of U.S. air carriers.
- Passenger fare receipts accounted for 17 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in March 2022.
- Medical/Education/Short-Term Worker Spending
- Expenditures for educational and health-related tourism, along with all expenditures by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers in the United States totaled $3.4 billion in March 2022 (compared to $3.2 billion in March 2021), an increase of 6 percent when compared to the previous year.
- For a pre-pandemic perspective, this spending totaled $4.9 billion in March 2019.
- Medical tourism, education, and short-term worker expenditures accounted for 34 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in March 2022.