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TI News: An information service from Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

June 23, 2009

International Visitor Spending in the United States Down Sharply in April
U.S. travel and tourism-related exports decline for sixth straight month

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that international visitors spent an estimated $9.5 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of April - 17% less than visitors had spent during April of last year.

  • Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $7.4 billion for the month, a decrease of more than 17% when compared to April 2008. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.
  • Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors decreased nearly 18% to $2.1 billion for the month. Passenger fare receipts for April were more than 4% lower than March.

April 2009 marks the sixth consecutive month in which U.S. travel and tourism-related exports were lower when compared to the same period of the previous year, having declined in November 2008 (-4%), December 2008 (-2%), January 2009 (- 5%), February 2009 (-9%), March 2009 (-19%), and April 2009 (-17%).

Monthly Travel and Tourism Highlights

  • The recent downturn in U.S. travel and tourism exports, beginning in the closing months of 2008, interrupted more than sixty consecutive months of positive growth.
  • Year-to-date (January-April) travel and tourism-related exports totaled $40.3 billion, down more than 12% ($5.7 billion) over 2008.
  • The U.S. travel and tourism industry generated a $6.4 billion trade surplus (i.e., exports minus imports) year to date, nearly $2.3 billion less favorable than the same period last year.

Monthly Travel and Tourism Exports (Receipts)

Preliminary data subject to future revisions
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

The U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating international travel and tourism statistics for the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. For more information relating to OTTI programs, please visit: <http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/index.html>.

For more monthly travel and tourism-related trade data dating back to 1992, please visit:
<http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/Monthly_Exports_Imports_Balance.xls>.