For Immediate Release: November 30, 2012
Contact: Mara Lee (202) 482-3809
New Report Forecasts Continued Growth in International Travel to the United States During Next Five Years
Visitors from Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia to continue to provide boost in U.S. exports
WASHINGTON – According to new data released today by the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States can expect 3.6 to 4.3 percent average annual growth in travel and tourism over the next five years. This year, over 66 million international travelers are projected to visit the United States, an increase of 6 percent over 2011 visitor volume.
“Continued growth in the travel and tourism sector – and specifically the growth in international visitor spending while in the United States – is providing an important economic boost to communities from California to the Carolinas,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez. “Last year, our nation hosted a record-breaking number of international visitors, and the future looks even brighter. This Administration is committed to making America the #1 tourist destination in order to support the millions of jobs the travel and tourism industry supports.”
In 2011, 62.7 million international visitors traveled to the U.S., generating $153 billion in receipts and a $43 billion trade surplus. Nearly 8 million people in the United States are employed in travel and tourism industries, or in industries that support the travel and tourism industries.
Visitors to the United States from all world regions are forecast to grow over the period from 2011 through 2017, ranging from a modest increase for the Caribbean (+3 percent) to a high for Asia (+64 percent), South America (+60 percent), and Oceania (+41 percent). Countries with the largest total growth percentages are China (+259 percent), Brazil (+83 percent), Argentina (+67 percent), South Korea (+51 percent), India (+47 percent), Australia (+46 percent), and Venezuela (+45 percent).
The North America world region will account for the largest proportion of the total visitor growth of nearly 18 million visitors (42 percent). Asia (26 percent), South America (13 percent), and Western Europe (12 percent) will account for the bulk of the remaining 58 percent of total growth in visitor volume forecast in 2017 compared to 2011 actual volume. Countries producing the largest increases in visitors are Canada (29 percent of total growth), China (16 percent), Mexico (13 percent), Brazil (7 percent), U.K. (4 percent), and Japan (4 percent).
The new forecast supports the goals of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, which the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Interior presented to the president in May, as a blueprint to increase international travel to the United States in order to build on this growing sector of the economy. The strategy lays out concrete steps to be taken in five key areas, in addition to the goal of increasing international visitors to the United States.
As part of those efforts, the International Trade Administration is continuing to supply the travel and tourism industry with important data, including international arrivals to the United States, the forecast of international travel to America for more than 30 countries, and estimates of the total impact of travel and tourism on the economy, among other services.
For additional information on the Forecast for Travel to the United States for 2012-2017 visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/.
International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has 2,100 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 77 countries worldwide. For more information on ITA visit www.trade.gov.
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