US travel

December 2023: A Historic Month for US Tourism with $19.5 Billion Earnings

In December 2023, international visitors spent an unprecedented $19.5 billion on travel and tourism within the United States.

This represents a significant 22% increase compared to December 2022, marking the highest monthly spending since the pre-COVID era of December 2019.

According to the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), this surge brings the monthly U.S. travel and tourism exports tantalizingly close to the record $20.8 billion set in March 2018. The data underscores a robust recovery and growing interest in the U.S. as a premier travel destination.

Meanwhile, American spending on international travel amounted to $18.9 billion in the same period. This resulted in a trade surplus of $544 million for the U.S., continuing a six-month streak of surpluses in the travel and tourism sector.

December 2023 International Inbound Visitor Spending in USA

Throughout 2023, international tourists have injected over $212.2 billion into the U.S. economy through travel and tourism-related purchases. This marks an impressive increase of over 28% from 2022, averaging more than $581 million in daily contributions to the economy.

Travel and tourism exports accounted for a significant 22.4% of all U.S. services exports in December 2023, highlighting the sector’s vital role in the overall U.S. export economy.

In detail, December’s travel spending by international visitors on tourism-related goods and services in the U.S. reached $11.3 billion, up 28% from the previous year. Travel receipts made up 58% of the total U.S. travel and tourism exports for the month.

Passenger fare receipts from international visitors on U.S. carriers also saw a rise, totaling $3.4 billion in December 2023, a 24% increase from December 2022. This accounted for 17% of the month’s total travel and tourism exports.

Additionally, spending on medical, educational, and short-term worker activities in the U.S. by international visitors totaled $4.8 billion in December 2023. This segment, which saw an 11% increase from the previous year, represented 25% of the month’s total U.S. travel and tourism exports.

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