The Numbers Are In: United States Tourism On The Rise
By Sharelle Burt
International travelers still have their sights set on visiting the United States of America.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that more than 95 million international travelers will visit the U.S in the next five years. This comes as good news since a computer glitch projected only 78 million visitors would come to the states. The tech glitch caused the Department of Commerce to suspend data release in April. A report showed inaccurate data being released for years. Before now, only data through September of 2017 was available.
Markets like India, Colombia, and China all have standout growth numbers, predicting somewhere around 46, 35, and 30 percent respectively over the next five years. They are the fastest-growing overseas markets for the United States. The commerce department gets input from the department’s overseas staff as well as economic, demographic, and social factors to get these projections. 2018 isn’t the only year where visitors numbers are up. Since the recession happened back in 2009, international arrivals to the U.S. went up an average of 3.5 percent each year since, with 2017 being a record high. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the $251.4 billion spent by international travelers also was impressive. “The United States enjoys a trade surplus of more than $77.4 billion for travel and tourism, and these exports help support more than 1.2 million American jobs,” Ross said. “U.S. travel and tourism-related exports accounted for nearly 32 percent of all U.S. services exports and 11 percent of all U.S. exports, goods, and services alike.”
With our current leaders, there is no telling if the U.S. will remain at the top in visitor numbers. Countries in Europe and Asia appear more appealing than the United States to many. Recent political stunts like Trump’s infamous travel ban attempt also wave a red flag to tourists. Industry leaders like Marriott and Hilton have met with the president to discuss how international tourism is important to the country’s economic growth.