The Commerce Department today released new data forecasting international visitors who stay one or more nights in the United States will reach a record 77.6 million this year – up more than 3.6 percent from total visitors in 2014. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker speaking at the IPW 2015 luncheon issued the 2015 Spring Travel Forecast showing America continues to be a premier travel destination and will continue to see strong visitation growth through 2020.
“We want and welcome international visitors to see and experience all America has to offer. As the world economy continues to shift, promoting travel and tourism is essential to our competitiveness, vital to our prosperity, and critical to the success of our businesses and our economy,” said Secretary Pritzker. “President Obama has understood from the beginning how vital travel and tourism is to the economic health of the United States. Visitors to our country spent a record $221 billion on travel goods and services last year, supporting 1.1 million total U.S. jobs.”
In 2012, the President launched the first-ever National Travel and Tourism Strategy to welcome 100 million international visitors to the United States who will spend $250 billion in 2021. The Obama administration understands the vital importance of travel and tourism to our economic growth and remains committed to building on this recent success, and meeting the National Goal by 2021.
According to the current forecast, the United States will see a 3.8 percent to 4.6 percent annual growth rate in visitor volume during the 2015-2020 timeframe. By the year 2020, it is projected that 96.4 million visitors will travel to the U.S. – an increase of 29 percent over 2014.
The latest forecast produces a compound annual growth rate during the forecast period of 4.3 percent – a slight increase from the 2014 Fall Travel Forecast.
All but one of the current top-20 visitor origin countries are forecast to grow from 2014 through 2020. Countries with the largest total growth percentages are China (163 percent), Colombia (54 percent), India (42 percent), Mexico (37 percent), and Taiwan (33 percent). Venezuela is the only country expected to have a decline in volume during the forecast period. Three countries – Mexico, China, and Canada – are expected to account for 61 percent of the projected growth from 2014 through 2020.
Travel and tourism is the largest services export industry for the United States. The U.S. currently has a total trade surplus in services of $231.1 billion.
For official information on international travel to the United States, please visit: http://travel.trade.gov/.