Yes, we’re patriots.
And so, last week, we in the travel and tourism industry celebrated who we are and what we do along with some professional hubris, because no industry presents events and human experiences like we do—including everything from the double-blink our eyes give off by the life-like creatures who frighten us in a new Disney or Universal Studios ride, to the humbling majesty of the Coastal Redwood trees of California.
And all the while we are presenting and marketing the attractions and actions of the tourism product to international visitors, we are also doing something with direct benefit to the U.S. economy: we are selling tourism to the USA at a better rate and better levels than other nations are marketing their tourism product to U.S. travelers.
How patriotic is that!
To underscore the point, INBOUND this week brings your attention to key data points recently released by the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO) that go beyond the international arrivals numbers that INBOUND usually features. Data recently released by NTTO show that in March 2022:
● International visitors spent $10.1 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States, an increase of 90 percent compared to March 2021.
● Americans spent $9.2 billion traveling abroad, yielding a balance of trade surplus of $894 million for the month—the fifth consecutive month during which the United States enjoyed a balance of trade surplus for travel and tourism.
● The increase in ‘Travel Spending’ accounted for the overwhelming majority (75 percent) of the year-over-year increase in U.S. travel exports in March 2022, followed by ‘Passenger Fare Receipts’ (21 percent) and ‘Medical/Education/Short-Term and Seasonal Workers Spending’ (4 percent).
Composition of Monthly Spending (Travel Exports)—Travel Receipts
—Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $5.0 billion in March 2022 (compared to $1.4 billion in March 2021), an increase of 251 percent when compared to the previous year.
—For a pre-pandemic perspective, travel receipts totaled $12.1 billion in March 2019. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.
Travel receipts accounted for 50 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in March 2022.
Passenger Fare Receipts
—Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled nearly $1.7 billion in March 2022 (compared to $662 million in March 2021), an increase of 153 percent when compared to the previous year.
—For a pre-pandemic perspective, the United States exported nearly $3.3 billion in passenger air transportation services in March 2019. These receipts are expenditures by foreign residents on international flights of U.S. air carriers.
—Passenger fare receipts accounted for 17 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in March 2022.
Medical/Education/Short-Term Worker Spending
—Expenditures for educational and health-related tourism, along with all expenditures by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers in the United States totaled $3.4 billion in March 2022 (compared to $3.2 billion in March 2021), an increase of 6 percent when compared to the previous year.
—For a pre-pandemic perspective, this spending totaled $4.9 billion in March 2019.
—Medical tourism, education, and short-term worker expenditures accounted for 34 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in March 2022.
Interested in an interactive data visualization of these statistics? Please visit the Monthly Travel Trade Monitor for a more comprehensive and customizable experience. (ttmonitor.)