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China remains the largest market for U.S. travel and tourism

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

chinese tourists groupThe International Trade Administration's National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) today announced the availability of preliminary 2016 regional and country-specific spending data.

The were no changes in the rankings of the top-five spenders in the United States, which includes China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the United Kingdom, respectively.

The remaining 5 countries that rounded out the top 10 all changed position in 2016. India, previously ranked seventh, moved up to sixth and pushed Brazil down to seventh in terms of total spending in the United States; South Korea, previously ranked tenth vaulted over both Germany and Australia to claim eighth place in 2016; both Australia and Germany fell one spot in the rankings to ninth and tenth, respectively, in 2016.

Seven of the top 10 markets suffered declines in total spending in 2016. China (+15 percent), India (+11 percent), and South Korea (+10 percent) were the only countries that exhibited growth in 2016.

Visitors from China spent a record-setting $34.8 billion in the United States last year, an appreciable increase of 15 percent (registering a second consecutive year of 15 percent growth) and nearly 76 percent more than our second largest market – Canada.

Spending by visitors from Canada has fallen 13 percent in back-to-back years, increasing the appreciable gap between our top two markets. In fact, Mexico could potentially surpass Canada in 2017, further pushing Canada down in the rankings.

Japan's population has been dwindling in recent years and so, too, has the amount visitors from Japan spend in the United States on travel and tourism-related goods and services. The $16.4 billion spent in 2016 is nearly 12 percent off the record set back in 2000 when visitors from Japan spent $18.6 billion experiencing the United States.

The United States has enjoyed increased visitor spending from travelers originating out of India in every single year reported except 2009 (year of the global economic slowdown). In fact, during the last decade, travel and tourism exports to India have more than doubled, culminating in a record-setting $13.1 billion in 2016.

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