Skift Travel News Blog

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

Tourism

U.S. Sees India Surge to its Second Top Traveler Market

4 months ago

India was the U.S.’ s second top market for travelers outside of North America between April and June, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s data released Monday. Over 500,000 Indian travelers came to the America in the those three months, up from 392,000 and 498,000 for the same period in 2022 and pre-pandemic 2019, respectively.

In the first six months of 2023, over 800, 000 Indian travelers came to the U.S., making it America’s second largest’s non-North American market after the UK this year.

Nearly 60% of Indian travelers came to the U.S. for vacation, business or a conference in the first six months of this year, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. On average, Indian travelers spent $3,500 per trip in the U.S. The states they visited the most were California, New York and Texas.

In 2023, the U.S. is expected to welcome 1.4 million Indian travelers, which is 97% of their pre-pandemic volume, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. It will be the U.S.’s sixth top source overseas market in 2023, after the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Brazil. In 2019, India was the U.S. eighth-largest market.

It’s notable is that India has recovered so quickly and is rising as top source market for the U.S. despite long visa wait times at U.S. embassies, which suggests inbound travel from the country has been heavily restrained.

While the number of visitor visa approvals for Indians has “outperformed” 2019 levels, they remain over 400 days on average, said U.S. Travel Association CEO and President Geoff Freeman at Skift Global Forum. In New Delhi, for example, an Indian national would have to wait 542 days for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy.

The visa wait times deter Indian travel into the U.S. “The message to that traveler is all but go away. This is anything but a welcoming environment,” said Freeman. 

U.S. destination marketing organizations have been investing in driving tourism from India. New York Tourism + Conventions, San Francisco Travel and Los Angeles Tourism have expanded their marketing efforts in India this year.

“We’ve invested heavily in India,” said NYC Tourism + Conventions CEO and President Fred Dixon at Skift Global Forum. “I was just there in January, we’ll be back again next January. We see a huge opportunity in the future from India. We’re excited about the airlift opportunities.”

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

U.S. Traveler Spending Abroad Reached Nearly $16 Billion in January, a New High

12 months ago

Americans traveling abroad spent over $15.8 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, other countries in January, more than any single month prior to the pandemic, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office.

International visitors spent over $14.7 billion in January on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the U.S., causing the U.S. to experience a balance of trade deficit of nearly $1.1 billion in travel spending. That’s the third time in the past six months that the U.S. experienced a monthly trade deficit in travel spending. Compared to January 2021, international visitor spending rose nearly 64 percent in January.

Spending on travel and tourism-related goods and services, which include lodging and entertainment, totaled $7.9 billion in January, down from $11.5 billion for the same period in 2019.