Page 2

Skift Travel News Blog

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

Tourism

Brand USA CEO Chris Thompson to Step Down

9 months ago

Chris Thompson will step down as president and CEO of Brand USA, effective May 31, 2024. Brand USA is the U.S. ‘s destination marketing organization. Brand USA’s board of directors will work with an executive search firm to find a successor.

Thompson is retiring after more than 30 years in the industry. He has served as president and CEO of Brand USA since 2012. Prior to joining Brand USA, he was president and CEO of Visit Florida.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve as President and CEO of Brand USA,” said Thompson. “I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together, and I am confident that the organization will continue to thrive under new leadership.”

Tourism

International Traveler Spending in the U.S. Rose Over 49 Percent to $16.8 Billion in March

12 months ago

International inbound travelers spent nearly $16.8 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the U.S. in March, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office, up more than 49 percent year over year.

International traveler purchases of food, entertainment, gifts and other travel and tourism-related goods and services totaled $9.7 billion in March 2023, up nearly 77 percent year over year.

Americans traveling abroad spent a record $17.4 billion. Last month, Americans also spent a record $17.4 billion traveling abroad.

For the month of March, the U.S. experienced a travel trade deficit of $572 million. Out of seven of the last eleven months, the U.S. has run a travel trade deficit, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. Prior to July 2021, the U.S. never recorded a monthly travel trade deficit.  

To date this year, international travelers have spent nearly $49.1 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services, up 61 percent year over year. International visitors have injected, on average, more than $545 million a day into the U.S. economy year to date.

Tourism

U.S.’s National Travel and Tourism Office Names New Director

12 months ago

The National Travel and Tourism Office has named Brian Beall as its next director. Starting May 8, Beall will lead the department toward enhancing the international competitiveness of the U.S. travel and tourism industry and increase U.S. travel and tourism exports. He is rejoining the department after spending nearly four years in the private sector as Cruise Lines International Association’s vice president of government affairs.

The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) is in the International Trade Administration’s Industry and Analysis division in the U.S. Department of Commerce. A major objective of the U.S. Department of Commerce is to attract 90 million international visitors by 2027.

During his time at NTTO, Beall was Deputy Director for Policy and Planning from 2014 to 2019.  He has also served a variety of roles at the International Trade Administration, including Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service and Senior International Trade Specialist in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade.

Tourism

U.S. to Lift Vaccine Requirement for International Inbound Travelers

12 months ago

The Biden Administration announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid vaccine requirement for inbound international air travelers to the U.S. will end on May 11. The administration will also remove the requirement for federal employees and contractors.

The U.S. Travel Association applauded the requirement’s repeal. “Today’s action to lift the vaccine requirement eases a significant entry barrier for many global travelers, moving our industry and country forward,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Geoff Freeman, referring to the May 1 announcement.

The vaccine requirements were put in place to slow the spread of Covid and allow the U.S. healthcare system time to manage care if faced with rising cases and hospitalizations. The Biden Administration cited the decline in Covid cases, hospitalizations and vaccinations as a reason for the repeal.

The removal will likely lead to an increase in international travelers. U.S. Travel called on the government to be prepared. “The federal government must ensure U.S. airports and other ports of entry are appropriately staffed with Customs and Border Protection officers to meet the growing demand for entry,” Freeman said.

Tourism

International Travel Volume to the U.S. Rose 93 Percent to Over 4 Million in January

12 months ago

Total inbound International visitation to the U.S. amounted 4.8 million in January, up 93 percent year over year and about 82 percent of January 2019’s volume, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s latest data. This was the twenty-second consecutive month that international visitor volume grew year over year.

Canada, Mexico, the UK, South Korea and Brazil were January’s top source markets and they accounted for around 70 percent of pre-pandemic January 2019’s visitor volume. Overseas volume, i.e. not from Canada and Mexico, amounted to 1.9 million, up 91 percent year over year.

Total outbound travel from the U.S. amounted to 6.4 million, up 60 percent year over year and representing 99 percent of pre-pandemic January 2019’s volume. Mexico and Canada combined made up 54 percent of U.S. visitor departures, while overseas made up 46 percent. Mexico was the top outbound market, followed by the Caribbean.

Tourism

Europeans Travelers Opting for Early Summer Trips: European Travel Commission

1 year ago

Most European travelers plan to take spring and early summer in the next months, according to a European Travel Commission survey. Around 40 percent will travel in June or July, while only 23 percent expect to travel in August and September, down 9 percent year over year. In April and May, almost 30 percent will take or took a trip.

The commission surveyed 6,000 Europeans in March who took at least 2 overnight trips during the last three years.

Between April and September, 72 percent of Europeans plan to travel, down 5 percent year over year.  Nearly three-quarters of Europeans over the age of 25 will travel in this period, while 61 percent of those under 25 years old plan to take a trip in this period. 

Europeans are hungry to travel in the next six months. By September, 60 percent will take multiple trips. Solo travelers are leading the trend with 34 percent planning at least trips, up 8 percent year over year.

Traveling within Europe is the top choice. Only 11 percent have trips planned for outside the region, while 58 percent will go to a neighboring country or a non-neighboring one.

Nearly half of travelers won’t change their trip budget in the next six months. Almost 20 percent will spend more. Those planning to spend more than 1,500 euros has risen by 7 percent year over year to 37 percent. 

The older traveler segment will spend more and take longer trips compared to other demographic groups.  Over half of travelers over the age of 54 will take trips that are at least 7 nights long and have budgets over 1,500 euros.

In the face of inflation and rising travel costs, travelers will cut back spending at their destinations.  About 17 percent will cut shopping expenses, 16 percent will choose less expensive accommodation and 15 percent will choose less expensive restaurants.

Europeans are also booking early to avoid higher prices. In fact, 52 percent of Europeans have already fully or partially booked their next trip, up 8 percent from 2022.

Tourism

American Travelers Spent a Record $17.4 Billion Abroad in February

1 year ago

Americans spent $17.4 billion traveling abroad in February, a record for the U.S., according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. 

International visitors to the U.S. spent nearly $16.9 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States, a 64 percent year over year increase. On travel and tourism-related goods and services like entertainment and food specifically, international visitors spent $9.5 billion in February, up 97 percent year over year.

Compared to American travel spending abroad, the U.S. recorded a monthly deficit of more than $480 million, meaning more money flowed out than in on travel and tourism-related activities in February. Prior to July 2021, the U.S. never recorded a monthly deficit. Since then, the U.S. has run a deficit for ten of the last 20 months, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office.

Tourism

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

1 year 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.

Tourism

International Travel Volume to the U.S. in 2022 Reached 64 Percent of Pre-Pandemic Level

1 year ago

The U.S. hosted 51 million international visitors in 2022, amounting to 64 percent of its 2019 volume, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s latest data. Outbound travel from the U.S. totaled 80.8 million, down 19 percent from its pre-pandemic volume.

About 24 million traveled from overseas, i.e. not Canada and Mexico, up 161 percent from 2021. Western Europe was the largest regional source market with over 10 million visitors. South America came in second with 4.2 million. 

Among overseas countries, the UK was at the top with 3.5 million, followed by Germany at 1.5 million and France at 1.3 million. In 2022, New York was the largest point of entry at 4.5 million, Miami at second with 3.8 million, followed by Los Angeles at 2 million. 

In December, international inbound volume rose 46.2 percent year over year to 5 million, representing 73 percent of its pre-pandemic December volume. Overseas visitor volume to the U.S. totaled 2.5 million, representing 94 percent of its pre-pandemic December volume.

Tourism

International Travel Volume to the U.S. Set to Rise 20 Percent to Over 62 Million in 2023

1 year ago

The U.S. will receive 62.8 million international visitors in 2023, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. That’s a 21.2 percent rise from 51.8 million in 2022, but it’s still below its 2019 level of 79.4 million.

Next year, international visitor volume will be around its pre-pandemic level. The National Travel and Tourism Office forecasts it will hit 79.9 million in 2024, slightly up from its pre-pandemic 2019. Volume will surpass 2019 levels and be fully recovered with 82.4 million in 2025. By 2027, the total will reach 91 million.

At its current recovery pace, the Commerce Department will exceed its strategic goal to have 90 million international visitors by 2027. The National Travel and Tourism Office sits under the Commerce Department.

Inbound travel from the U.S.’s overseas markets, which excludes Canada and Mexico, will be 29.2 million in 2023, down from 40.4 million in 2019. Overseas volume won’t reach its pre-pandemic volume of 40.3 million until 2027.

The U.S.’s top inbound market recovery speeds will vary. Canada’s, the U.S.’s top inbound market in 2019, for example, won’t exceed its 2019 level of 20.7 million until 2025. India, in contrast, will exceed its 2019 volume next year with 1.5 million, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office.