WASHINGTON, DC – International visitor arrivals to the United States are expected to grow by 5 to 6 percent annually during the next five years. The U.S. Department of Commerce today released its fall travel and tourism forecast and projects a record 64 million international travelers to spend US$152 billion during their stays in 2011, an increase of 13 percent from 2010.
“Travel and tourism is the leading export service industry,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez. “More than one million Americans owe their jobs to a strong travel and tourism sector. This record-breaking forecasted growth in travel exports will help put more Americans to work.”
Year-to-date, the travel and tourism trade surplus is up 31 percent from 2010, putting it on track to set a record trade surplus of $41 billion. Through July 2011, 35.2 million international visitors have flocked to the United States, up five percent compared to the same period in 2010.
This report updates an earlier forecast released in May 2011. That report predicted international arrivals to grow by 6-8 percent annually through 2016. The revision reflects a downward reassessment of key arrival markets.
In the long-term, the number of travelers from all world regions are forecast to grow, ranging from a high for Oceania (+85 percent) and South America (+77 percent), to a low for the Caribbean (+13 percent). Countries with the largest total growth rates are China (+274 percent), Brazil (+135 percent), the Russian Federation (+131 percent), Australia (+94 percent), and Argentina (+70 percent).
Travel and tourism is a $1.3 trillion sector of the U.S. economy, supporting 7.8 million American jobs. In 2010, the United States had a surplus of nearly $32 billion in travel and tourism, an increase of 50 percent from 2009. Purchases of goods and services by international visitors to the United States are considered an export as they contribute to the overall economy.
For additional information on the forecast for travel to the United States for 2011–2016, detailing the volume and percent change for all world regions and the top 40 countries, please visit http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/f-2000-99-001/index.html.
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