Just-released NTTO 2019 data reveal rich treasure lode of Info on those who visit USA. The U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) recently completed posting of the 2019 states, cities, and regions visited by overseas travelers, as well as in-depth profiles and statistical portraits on the NTTO website’s the “Inbound Travel to the U.S.” page. (Click here) The data are now available in an Excel format, and go back to 1997.
“The most seismic change during this period” said Richard Champley, senior analyst & program manager National Travel and Tourism Office/Industry & Analysis,”was the proportionate increase in the number of females who visited the United States. In 2019, 48 percent of all overseas visitors were female compared with 34 percent in 1997.”
Champley also noted that “89.3 percent of all visitors rated their U.S. entry experience as ‘average/good/excellent.’ As well, 97.1 percent of visitors indicated their overall trip experience in the United States ‘met or exceeded expectations’ and 97.7 percent indicated they expect to visit the United States again.”
The 2019 data presented by NTTO have a special significance for the international travel marketer in the U.S., as they comprise the last full-year set for several years, with this year, 2020, a wash, due to the coronavirus-driven collapse of the international market for what looks like most of the year. Also, numbers for 2021, provided that NTTO has received data counts as well as information from the Survey of International Air Travelers* in a timely fashion, are a good two years off.
NTTO’s material includes profiles of overseas visitors containing characteristics from the Survey of International Air Travelers passenger responses. Profiles include a comprehensive view of overseas travelers, followed by segmentations by regions (9) and countries (Top 25) of origin. In addition, there are ten sector/activity profiles and special reports on U.S. states and cities visited in 2019.
Other Key Takeaways:
—While the 2019 overseas arrivals data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security I-94 records totaled 40.393 million visitors, marking a 1.3 percent year-over-year increase, total visitation to the 11 U.S. regions declined slightly by 1.2 percent.**
—Spending (travel and tourism exports, preliminary) estimates totaled $211.4 billion, down slightly from 2018. Revised estimates will be forthcoming. Country and regional spending estimates are included, when available, within the profiles. For example, the Italy profile shows that spending for total travel (all purposes) and passenger fares on U.S. carriers was estimated at $4.3 billion.
—Among the traveler Characteristics observed in 2019 versus 1997 (the first year that data were made available in Excel format), business-convention travel in 2019 was slightly lower than it was in 1997
Leisure-VFR (visiting friends and relatives) travel segments demonstrated sustained growth over the last two-plus decades, from 18.8M in 1997 to 33.1M in 2019 [see graph below]
Other Traveler Characteristics observed in 2019 versus 1997:
—The average number of states visited in 2019 was 1.4 states vs. 1.6 states in 1997. Also, the percentage of travelers visiting only one state was 75.9 percent of visitors in 2019, up from 63.1 percent in 1997.
—Length of stay in the United States averaged 16.9 nights, up from 15.4 nights in 1997.
—Average travel party size increased to 1.7 persons from 1.6 persons in 1997. A 6.3 percent increase in party size may have influenced other visitation statistics, i.e. lodging, as would changes in length of stay and number of destinations visited.
—The share of visitors using a ‘conventional’ tour package (including, at minimum, air and lodging)
declined to 13.3 percent from 22.5 percent in 1997. Tour packages were used mostly in Asian, European, and Brazilian markets. A growing number of ‘independent’ travelers utilized internet booking services to virtually assemble air and lodging reservations.
—The number of repeat travelers has increased over time, from 75.3 percent of all travelers in 1997 to 78.7 percent in 2019.
—Transportation usage in the United States: For inter-city travel the usage of bus travel increased while domestic air travel declined.
—The use of cruise, ship/river boat, for one or more nights, and ferry and scenic cruises has been holding at four percent since NTTO started to measure those modes in 2012.
For more reports, specific details, and information on these and other travel segments, please visit: https://www.trade.gov/national-travel-and-tourism-office. The “profile’ format and content of these reports were completely redesigned last year making them much more useful and user-friendly. Instead of a static PDF format providing only year-over-year data, NTTO expanded to an Excel format spanning more than 20 years of data. Please contact NTTO with questions/comments at 202.482.4753 or [email protected].
* The Survey of International Air Travelers is an on-going primary research program which gathers statistical data about air passenger travelers in U.S.-overseas and U.S.-Mexican markets. Survey data provides information on passenger trip planning, travel patterns, demographics and spending for two separate populations—non-U.S. residents traveling to the U.S. and U.S. residents traveling from the U.S.
** While total overseas arrivals are captured via the Department of Homeland Security I-94/Arrival and Departure Information System records at U.S. ports of entry, each one of those arrivals can visit multiple destinations in the U.S. (Captured by Q.17 in the Survey of International Air Travelers). So, in essence there appears to have been fewer destinations visited. This is supported by the statistic in “Select Traveler Characteristics,” row 374, “% visiting one state only” = 75.9 percent, a high compared to previous years.