Skift Take

As the number of international travelers to the U.S. grows, so does their sophistication. Travelers are looking to move away from packages and towards independent travel that lets them stay in and get to know a single destination longer.

International visitors to the United States are extending their trips, but visiting fewer destinations in that time.

In 2013, the average foreigner traveling to the U.S. for business or leisure stayed an average of 17.5 nights, up from 17 nights in 2012, according to data released by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office.

The biggest increase in length of stay was seen among travelers from India and Russia and almost no change was registered in the length of stay from travelers from Brazil, France and Australia. Some of the top markets including U.K., Japan, and China actually saw a decrease in trip length.

Although these travelers are staying longer, they are visiting fewer destinations.

The average number of states visited in 2013 declined from 1.5 to 1.4 and the percentage of travelers visiting just one state increased to a 72.2 percent share of total visitors, up 1.7 percent from 2013.

The average number of destinations visited also declined from 2.0 to 1.9. The number of travelers who visited only one destination increased one percentage point.

Traveling Alone

The average party size for international visitors is 1.6 suggesting that many visitors come alone or as a duo.

International visitors are also increasingly leaving conventional tour packages, including at least air travel and lodging, to book and plan independently.

The share of all travelers using a package declined to 18.1 percent in 2013 from 19 percent in 2012. The number of independent travelers increased by nine percent in 2013.

International travelers are also increasingly using buses to travel between cities. Intercity travel by air and rail decreased by less than one percentage point, but bus usage increased.


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Tags: skiftstats, usa

Photo credit: A tourist telescope on the Ellis Island and New York City Skyline with the Hudson River and the Lower Manhattan skyscrapers in the background on a sunny summer day. Getty Images

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