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U.S. Travel and Tourism Exports Total $21 Billion in December Record-Setting December Exports Drive Annual Exports to New Heights in 2016

February 24, 2017 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

The National Travel and Tourism Office today announced that international visitors spent more than $21.2 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States in December, an increase of nearly three percent ($564 million) when compared to December 2015 – setting a new record for monthly U.S. travel and tourism exports.

International visitors spent a record-setting $247.1 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services in 2016, an ever-so-slight increase (0.4%) when compared to record levels of spending in 2015; conversely, Americans have spent an estimated $158.9 billion abroad, yielding a balance of trade surplus of more than $88.2 billion for the year.

Monthly Summary

  • Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $13.1 billion during December, an increase of nearly 1 percent when compared to December 2015. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.Travel receipts accounted for 62 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in December.
  • Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled $3.5 billion for the month, an increase of nearly 2 percent when compared to December 2015. Passenger fare receipts accounted for 16 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in December.
  • Medical/Education/Short-Term Worker(1): Expenditures for educational and health-related tourism, along with all expenditures by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers, totaled nearly $4.6 billion in December, an appreciable increase of 10 percent when compared to the same period in the previous year. Medical tourism, education, and short-term worker receipts accounted for 22 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in December.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Travel and Tourism Office and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.(2)

(2)In June 2014 the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) completed the most comprehensive restructuring of the U.S. international economic accounts since 1976 in an effort to bring our international accounts into closer conformity with international guidelines. As a result, BEA now uses a broader definition of travel that includes education-related and health-related travel and expenditures on goods and services by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers. Therefore, all travel and tourism-related trade data have been revised back to 1999. To learn more, please visit:http://travel.trade.gov/pdf/restructuring-travel.pdf

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