The arrivals data are there; they’re just not what we would like to see. The researchers, economic analysts and statisticians who at or for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s, National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) are turning out treasure lodes of reports on a timely basis—better they ever have of late—but the heavy hand of a global economic pandemic tells us that the overall statistical portrait of inbound travel to the United States will not be a pretty one.
The near-or short-term picture does, however, seem to suggest that expectations for the remainder of Q3 2021, as well as Q4, could open the sluice gates for some healthy activity on the market—even if it is comprised of news bytes here and there, as well as anecdotal evidence throughout the distribution chain: new job openings are appearing in healthy numbers; sales and marketing professionals who were furloughed or laid off, at sending out notices on the social network that they’re going back to work; and attractions, tours, shows and restaurants have re-opened and/or reclaimed seating capacities that they had prior to April 2020, when the full-force of the pandemic brought the tourism industry to a halt.
For the B2B/wholesale side of international inbound tourism, the state of business is one that is in recovery. Insiders will have a better grasp of where things are within the next six weeks. By that time, Connect Travel (publisher of INBOUND) will have had its RTO Summit Florida, where receptive tour operators—many of them with offices in Orlando—who have a pulse on developments in South America and Europe will meet in a little more than a week (Aug. 29-30) in Tampa. A broader view and understanding of the international market will be when IPW convenes, along with Connect Travel’s TOUR and THRIVE Summit (focusing on the U.S. domestic market) on Sept. 20-22.
What follows are two presentations from NTTO trove of monthly data for the six months of 2021 through June. The first is a large table with numbers for the 50 largest overseas country markets; and second, there are two bar graphs that contrast data for this year vs. 2020 and 2019.
First, the Big Picture.
Just to help you put the above in perspective, take at 2019—the Top 5 markets for overseas tourism to the United States were: United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and China. None of them appear in the Top 15 for 2021 so far.
And then there is the following:
Questions? Contact the research team