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

April 15, 2013


U.S. Travel and Tourism Exports Continue to Increase from Record-Breaking 2012

WASHINGTON — Spending by international visitors to the United States in February 2013 outpaced February 2012 levels by 5 percent, according to data released by the International Trade Administration (ITA). International visitors spent an estimated $14.3 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month.

“International travel and tourism represents our country’s largest services export,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez. “So far this year, spending in the United States by international travelers has contributed $28.6 billion to our economy, which continues our momentum from 2012’s record-setting year. Travel and tourism is an important sector of our economy, which is why we are continuing to increase our efforts to attract more international visitors to the United States.”

Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $10.9 billion during February. 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 also increased by nearly 5 percent to $3.4 billion for the month, an increase of $154 million when compared to February 2012. Overall, the United States enjoyed a favorable balance of trade for the month of February in the travel and tourism sector, with a surplus of $4.5 billion.

As a whole, travel and tourism-related industries supported 7.7 million jobs in 2012, an increase of 2.1 percent when compared to the previous year.

Increasing U.S. travel and tourism will not come at the expense of national security. The President’s plan for commonsense immigration reform includes a number of proposals to support his commitment to increasing U.S. travel and tourism while maintaining our nation’s security. Specifically, the President’s immigration proposal reforms the Visa Waiver Program to strengthen law enforcement cooperation while facilitating more efficient trade and tourism to the United States, securely streamlines visa and foreign visitor processing, facilitates public-private partnerships aimed at increasing investment in foreign visitor processing, and strengthens and improves infrastructure at ports of entry.

For information on the Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy to increase the number of international visitors to the United States, or to view additional travel and tourism data, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/.