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TI News: An information service from the National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO)
November 13, 2015
International Visitor Spending in the United States: September 2015
International visitors injected, on average, $606 million a day into U.S. economy in September
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that international visitors spent an estimated $18.2 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of September, an ever-so-slight increase of less than 1 percent when compared to September 2014 and only the third time this year in which monthly spending was higher than last year. Were it not for markedly lower passenger fare exports - largely a function of declining fuel prices and thus lower fares - total travel and tourism exports for September would have risen nearly 5 percent over last year.
Year-to-date international visitor spending totaled $163.5 billion (January through September 2015), a decrease of 1 percent when compared to same period last year. Conversely, U.S. residents have spent $115.9 billion traveling abroad year to date, an increase of more than 7 percent. As a result, the United States ran a $47.6 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through September 2015.
On June 18, 2015 the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released annual revisions of the U.S. international transactions data, of which travel and tourism-related spending are a part; as a result, we have revised annual international visitor spending data for 2012, 2013, and 2014.
In 2014 international visitors spent $220.8 billion (revised) experiencing the United States, an increase of 3 percent when compared to the previous year. These travel and tourism exports accounted for 31 percent of all U.S. services exports and 9 percent of all U.S. exports, goods and services alike.
Unfortunately, the National Travel and Tourism Office is no longer able to report annual travel and tourism export figures (international visitor spending in the United States) by country until early November each year. The National Travel and Tourism Office relies on data provided by BEA (e.g., spending by visitors from China on U.S. flag carriers) to report these country-specific data. Previously, BEA released these preliminary data in March; now, however, BEA will not publish these data until late October. As a result, the National Travel and Tourism Office will necessarily alter its reporting schedule accordingly.
(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: https://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: https://travel.trade.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/Monthly_Exports_Imports_Balance.xlsx.