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TI News: An information service from the National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO)

February 2, 2016

International Visitor Spending in the United States: November 2015

International visitors spending nearly $280 million less a month in the United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that international visitors spent an estimated $18.1 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of November, a decrease of 2 percent when compared to November 2014. Passenger fares remain the strongest downward pull on total travel and tourism exports, down nearly 11 percent year to date (January through November 2015).

  • Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $11.0 billion during November, a decrease of 2 percent when compared to the previous year. 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 61 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports during November 2015.

  • Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled $3.2 billion for the month, a decrease of more than 12 percent when compared to November 2014. Passenger fare receipts accounted for 17 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports during November.

  • Medical/Education/Short-Term Worker(1): Expenditures for educational and health-related tourism, along with all expenditures by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers, totaled $3.9 billion in November, an increase of nearly 10 percent when compared to the previous year. Medical tourism, education, and short-term worker receipts accounted for 22 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports during November 2015.

Monthly Change in 'Total U.S. Travel and Tourism Exports'

Year-to-date international visitor spending totaled $199.0 billion (January through November 2015), a decrease of nearly 2 percent when compared to same period in 2014. Conversely, U.S. residents have spent $142.8 billion traveling abroad year to date, an increase of nearly 8 percent, yielding a $56.2 billion balance of trade surplus for travel and tourism.


(1) In June 2014 the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) completed the most comprehensive restructuring of the U.S. international economic accounts since 1976 in an effort to bring U.S. international accounts into closer conformity with international guidelines. As a result, BEA now uses a broader definition of travel that includes education-related and health-related travel and expenditures on goods and services by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers. To learn more, please visit: http://travel.trade.gov/pdf/restructuring-travel.pdf

The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating international travel and tourism statistics for the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. For more monthly travel and tourism-related trade data dating back to 1992, please visit the NTTO site at:
http://travel.trade.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/Monthly_Exports_Imports_Balance.xlsx.