Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

U.S.’s National Travel and Tourism Office Names Deputy Assistant Secretary

2 months ago

Alex Lasry has been sworn in as the new deputy assistant secretary for travel and tourism at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Lasry oversees the National Travel and Tourism Office, in the International Trade Administration’s industry and analysis division in the Commerce Department.

Lasry has begun to help lead the Biden-Harris Administration’s national travel and tourism strategy. The goals are to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. in attracting its fair share of inbound visitors and sustaining the country’s spot as a popular destination for foreign visitors. A key objective is to attract 90 million international visitors a year by 2027.

Previously, Lasry was senior vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team. He also led Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s successful bid to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Tourism

International Travel to the U.S. Reached 86% of Pre-Pandemic Level in August

3 months ago

About 7 million international travelers came to the U.S in August, which was 86% of their pre-pandemic level, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s latest data. About 3.3 million of international travelers came from outside North America.

India was the U.S.’s second top traveler market outside North America in August. The U.S. welcomed 221,000 travelers from India. Only the UK surpassed India with 396,000 travelers. 

This year, India has been the U.S.’s second largest traveler market outside North America. From January to August, nearly 1.2 million Indian travelers visited the U.S. The UK held the top spot with 2.5 million travelers.

Over 2.7 million travelers came to the U.S. with a tourist visa in August. Nearly 240,000 came with a business visa.

Nearly 8.9 million Americans traveled abroad in August, which was 94% of their 2019 pre-pandemic level. To date, over 66 million Americans have traveled abroad.

Tourism

Americans Traveling Abroad Spent Record $18 Billion in September

3 months ago

Americans spent a record $18.3 billion traveling abroad in September, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s latest data.

International travelers spent $18.8 billion in September on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the U.S. That’s up 24% from the year prior and the highest level of monthly spending since December 2019, the month before the onset of Covid-19 cases.

Between January and September, international travelers spent more than $156 billion, up nearly 32% from the same period last year. On average, international travelers spent nearly $572 million per day.

With regard to strictly purchases in September, international travelers spent $10.8 billion on lodging, food, gifts and other goods and services, up from $8.2 billion last year.

Tourism

U.S. Tourism Data: International Travelers Fuel Recovery

4 months ago

International travel to the U.S. continues to make a post-pandemic recovery, according to new data on international air travelers released Monday by the U.S.’s National Travel and Tourism Office. International air travelers spent $18.9 billion in the U.S. in the second quarter, up 33% from the same period in 2022.

The data provided telling statistics. Below are some key facts about overseas travel, i.e., not from Mexico or Canada, in the second quarter:

  • On average, overseas travelers had an income of $95,311, stayed 19 days, and spent $1,933 on their trips.
  • Over 7.7 million travelers came to the U.S. from overseas markets. Europe was the top contributor at over 3.3 million.
  • About 61% of overseas travelers took their trips solo, while 20% took theirs with a spouse or partner, and 16% took theirs with family or relatives.
  • Vacation was the top reason at 53%, which was the same level in the second quarter of 2022.
  • More overseas travelers took trips to the U.S. for business in the second quarter at 18%, up from 14% last year.
Top Destinations for Overseas Visitors
New York
Florida
California

What about travelers from Canada and Mexico, you ask?

Over 720,000 air travelers came from Mexico to the U.S. On average, Mexican travelers spent $1,271 per trip. Below were their favorite destinations in the second quarter:

Top Destinations for Mexican Visitors
Texas
California
Florida

Over 2.6 million air travelers came from Canada. On average, Canadian travelers spent $1,164 per trip. Below were their favorite destinations in the second quarter:

Top Destinations for Canadian Visitors
Florida
California
Nevada

A growing share of Canadian, Mexican and overseas travelers cited business travel as a top reason for taking a trip to the U.S. in the second quarter.

Tourism

International Travel to U.S. Hit 84% of Pre-Pandemic Level in July

4 months ago

Nearly 6.5 million international travelers came to the U.S. in July, representing 84% of its pre-pandemic level, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s latest data release. Compared to July 2022, international travel to the U.S. is up 25%.

International travelers from overseas, i.e. not Mexico and Canada, totaled 3.1 million in July, up 21% from the same month last year. The United Kingdom, France and Germany were top overseas source countries for the U.S. in July.

Over 10.6 million Americans traveled abroad in July, which was up 17% from the same month in 2022 and 99% of its pre-pandemic level, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office.

Europe was the largest outbound overseas destination for Americans traveling abroad in July, having welcomed 2.3 million Americans traveling abroad, up 13% from the same month last year.

Tourism

International Traveler Spending Reached $19 Billion in August

4 months ago

International traveler spending on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the U.S. totaled $19 billion in August 2023, its highest level since the pandemic hit in 2020, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s latest data. August international traveler spending, however, was still below its 2019 pre-pandemic total of $19.6 billion.

International traveler spending on strictly goods and services like recreation, lodging and foot totaled $10.6 billion in August, down from $11.5 billion for the same month in 2019.

Between January and August, total international traveler spending amounted to over $137.7 billion on travel and tourism-related goods and services, up more than 33% from the same period in 2022. That translated into nearly $567 million spending per day on average.

In August, Americans traveling abroad spent over $17.2 billion, up from $14.9 billion in August 2019.

Tourism

International Tourism Hit 84% of Pre-Pandemic Level

5 months ago

International tourism reached 84% of its pre-pandemic level between January and July 2023, according to the UN World Tourism Organization. Around 700 million tourists traveled internationally.

The Middle East had the strongest international tourism demand among all regions, having exceeded 20% above its pre-pandemic level between January and July. 

Other regions have not exceeded their pre-pandemic level. Europe hit 91% thanks to strong intra-regional demand and travel from the U.S., according to UN WTO. Africa reached 92% and the Americas reached 87%.

Asia-Pacific was far behind other regions in its recovery, having reached 61%. Many destinations and source markets in the region like China weren’t open for travel until the end of 2022 or earlier this year. 

UNWTO expects pent-up demand and increased air connectivity in Asia-Pacific will bring international tourism to 80% to 95% of its pre-pandemic level by the end of 2023.

The challenging economic environment could slow the recovery. UNWTO pointed to persisting inflation and rising oil prices leading to higher transport and accommodation costs for tourists.

Tourism

Americans Traveling Abroad Rose 20% in June

5 months ago

Over 10 million Americans traveled abroad in June, a 20% rise from the same period last year, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s latest data. June’s volume was 99% of its 2019 pre-pandemic level.

The second largest overseas market — Mexico was number one — for Americans traveling abroad in June was Europe at 2.7 million, up 19.3% from last year. Europe accounted for 26% of American trips abroad in June.

The number of International travelers to the U.S. rose 24% to 2.6 million from June last year. Compared to the pre-pandemic period, June international volume was at 79% of its 2019 level. The largest overseas tourist markets for the U.S. were the UK (276,000), India (172,400) and Germany (132,000).

Tourism

Brazil to Require Visas for American Tourists in 2024

6 months ago

Brazil will mandate visitors from the U.S., Australia and Canada obtain an e-visa prior to entering the country starting January 10, 2024, according to Embratur, Brazil tourism’s board.

The visa requirement was initially going to take effect on October 1 this year, but the government has postponed it to next year.

Since 2019, Brazil had waived its visa requirement for nationals from U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan . Nationals from those countries had been allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days with the possibility of extensions of up to 180 days. The visa waiver will last until January 10, according to Embratur.

Visas will be issued electronically. The Brazilian government is currently developing the procedure. Once done, the details for the process will be provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The policy reinstatement is a retaliation toward countries that have not waived their visa rules for Brazilian nationals. The Brazilian government has been pressing U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan to reciprocate and waive its visa requirements.

Brazil has only reached an agreement with Japan to have reciprocal exemption, which will take effect on September 30, 2023. Not only will Japanese tourists continue be allowed to Brazil without a visa, Brazilian tourists will be allowed to Japan visa-free.

Tourism

International Traveler Spending in the U.S. Is Down by $1.5 Billion from Pre-Pandemic Level

6 months ago

International travelers spent $18 billion on travel to, and within the U.S. in July., down by $1.5 billion from its pre-pandemic level, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s latest data. Spending on strictly goods and services like recreation, lodging and food totaled $9.7 billion in July 2023.

Between January and July, international travelers spent more than $118.5 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services, up nearly 24% from the same period in 2022. On average, international travelers spent more than $559 million per day this year so far.

Americans traveling abroad spending continued to exceed past its pre-pandemic level. In July, they spent over $17.2 billion, up from $14.9 billion for the same period in 2019. In June, Americans also spent more than they did while traveling internationally before the pandemic.