Skift Take

Taking into account inflation, the U.S. still has a lot of work to recover international traveler spending.

Visitors to the U.S. aren’t spending as much as they used to on lodging, food, local transportation, and entertainment.

International traveler spending in the U.S. has remained below its pre-pandemic level this year – and the gap is even worse when you factor in inflation.

Here are the numbers for October from the National Travel and Tourism Office.

  • October 2023: $10.7 billion.
  • October 2019: $11.6 billion

If the spending in 2019 had just kept pace with inflation over the past four years, it would be $13.9 billion today. 

One factor limiting travel has been affordability: Higher costs and the relatively strong dollar, which has reduced the buying power of many international visitors to the U.S.

On the flip side, Americans traveling abroad have been spending more than they did pre-pandemic. They spent $12.1 billion on travel and tourism-related goods and services in October. That’s an increase from $9.8 billion in October 2019, which would be $11.7 billion after inflation.

Cruise and Tours Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of cruise and tours sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets including both cruise lines and tour operators.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more cruise and tours sector financial performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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Tags: coronavirus recovery, inflation, international travel, tourism, travel inflation

Photo credit: International traveler spending is down in both real and nominal dollars. Alice Donovan Rouse / Unsplash

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