Visitors Spent a Record $10.1 Billion in February
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that international visitors spent an estimated $13.3 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of February—nearly $1.6 billion more, or a 14 percent increase from spending in February 2011. Year to date, U.S. travel and tourism exports have grown more than 11 percent in 2012.
“Today’s data is yet further evidence that the United States remains one of the top destinations for international visitors from around the world,” said Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez. “We have seen long-term growth in both arrivals and spending and hope to continue that trend with the focus provided by the Obama Administration on this growing sector. That is why we are making it even easier to visit America’s most amazing places and working hard to tell folks about what an amazing place America is – whether you travel five or 5,000 miles to get here.”
Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States hit a record-breaking $10.1 billion during February, an increase of 13 percent when 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 more than 16 percent to $3.1 billion for the month, an increase of nearly $435 million when compared to last year and a mere $175 million shy of breaking the record set in August 2011.
While spending by international visitors has hit records, so have arrivals. In January 2012, 4.5 million international visitors traveled to the United States, a seven percent increase over January 2011. January 2012 registered the 10th straight month of increases in total U.S. visits.
In January 2012, the top inbound markets continued to be Canada and Mexico. Visits from Canada increased nine percent while arrivals from Mexico grew four percent. Seven of the top inbound overseas regional markets posted increases in visits in January 2012, while Western Europe was flat and the Caribbean region decreased four percent.
The 2012 data to date builds on increases in international and domestic tourism spending in 2011, which showed an increase of 8.1 percent, supporting an additional 103,000 jobs for a total of 7.6 million. A big factor in the increase was a surge in international visitors: in 2011, 62 million international visitors came to the United States, an increase of 2.5 million from the year before. These international visitors spent an all time record of $153 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services.
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