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International Visitors in the U.S. Spent More in July 2017

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counting dollarsU.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that international visitors spent an estimated $21.2 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of July, an increase of more than 4 percent when compared to July 2016.

“It is a pleasure to announce that international visitors spent more in the United States in 2017 than any other period in history, and that if this trend continues 2017 will be a record setting year,” said Secretary Ross. “The Trump Administration is unequivocally committed to ensuring that United States continues to be a premier destination for visitors from around the globe.”

International visitors spent nearly $146.3 billion on travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through July 2017), an increase of 3 percent when compared to 2016. 

“It is clear that the United States travel and tourism industry remains a strong engine for growth and job creation,” continued Secretary Ross. “This proves that international travelers know that the safety enhancements introduced by the Trump Administration are far more important than the processing inconveniences from them.”

The growth of visitor spending in the United States during 2017 reverses the drop in 2016 when monthly U.S. travel and tourism exports, as well as international arrivals, declined for nine consecutive months (April 2016 through the end of the year.)

Composition of Monthly Spending (Exports):

Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $13.1 billion during July, an increase of nearly 2 percent when compared to the previous year. 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 62 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports during July 2017.

Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled $3.3 billion for the month, an increase of nearly 6 percent when compared to July 2016 and the largest monthly increase since November 2014. Passenger fare receipts accounted for 16 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports during the month.

Medical/Education/Short-Term Worker(1): Expenditures for educational and health-related tourism, along with all expenditures by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers, totaled $4.8 billion in July, an increase of 10 percent when compared to the previous year. Medical tourism, education, and short-term worker receipts accounted for 23 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports during July 2017.

(1) In June 2014 the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) completed the most comprehensive restructuring of the U.S. international economic accounts since 1976 in an effort to bring our international accounts into closer conformity with international guidelines. As a result, BEA now uses a broader definition of travel that includes education-related and health-related travel and expenditures on goods and services by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers. Therefore, all travel and tourism-related trade data have been revised back to 1999.