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June 14, 2012
U.S. COMMERCE DEPARTMENT RELEASES DATA SHOWING INTERNATIONAL VISITOR SPENDING CONTINUES AT RECORD-SETTING PACE
12% Increase Year Over Year
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration today released tourism data revealing that international visitors spent an estimated $14 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States in April 2012 - $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 $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 $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 U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors increased by nearly 15 percent to $3.4 billion for the month, surpassing the all-time record for monthly passenger fare receipts.
The U.S. travel and tourism industry is on pace for a record-setting year - international visitors have spent an estimated $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 $40.0 billion abroad year to date - resulting in a $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 U.S. exports by the end of 2014.
To learn more about Commerce’s ongoing efforts to attract international visitors, visit www.trade.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (June 2012).