International Tourist Spending in the US Hit $16.5 Billion in December

International Tourist Spending in the US Hit $16.5 Billion in December

The statue of Liberty and Manhattan, New York. (photo courtesy of spyarm/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

International visitors to the United States spent nearly $16.5 billion in December, a figure that represents the highest level of spending since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in February 2020.

The December spending data is part of a broader report that was just released by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO).

The record level of receipts for the final month of 2022 represent a 49 percent increase over December 2021. The same report reveals that for all of 2022, international visitors spent about $162 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related expenses, which is nearly double the amount for 2021. Looked at another way, international visitors spent about $445 million per day last year.

The new data also shows that the United States closed the month of December with a travel surplus. Americans spent about $15.5 billion traveling abroad. When compared to the $16.5 billion spent in this country by international visitors, that’s a $932 million surplus.

Some of the additional report highlights include:

—Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors in the United States amounted to $9.1 billion in December. That’s a year-over-year increase of 68%. Spending in December 2021 was $5.4 billion.

—Travel receipts accounted for 55 percent of the total U.S. travel and tourism experts in December 2022.

—Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled $3.2 billion in December 2022. That’s a 62% increase over December 2021.

—Passenger fare receipts translated into 20% of the total U.S. travel and tourism exports for December 2022.

International Tourist Spending in the US Hit $16.5 Billion in December

Acorn Street, old Boston. (Photo via Jorgeantonio / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The good news for the U.S. travel industry comes on the heels of the U.S. Travel Association announcing the launch of new quarterly press conferences that will focus on topics of importance to the growth of the industry. At the first of those press conferences, U.S. Travel President and CEO Geoff Freeman underscored the travel industry’s importance to this country’s economic well-being.

“Travel is essential to the U.S. economy, and both the public and private sectors have roles in getting this industry to its full potential,” Freeman said. “But when we talk about the travel industry, we’re really talking about every industry, how travel’s growth and success is integral to practically everything from manufacturing to education and far beyond.”

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