International Visits to U.S. Decline for First Time Since 2009

Andrew Harnik  / Associated Press

International visitation to the U.S. decreased last year for the first time since 2009. In this photo taken April 19, 2015, people walk in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington. Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Skift Take: International visits to the U.S could have decreased in 2016 for many reasons, ranging from the pricy U.S. dollar to uncertainty surrounding U.S. politics. While data show continued growth into 2017, perhaps things aren’t as positive for the U.S. travel industry as they seem.

— Andrew Sheivachman

News of a so-called Trump Bump for the U.S. travel industry may be overhyped, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The National Travel & Tourism Office found that 2016 international visitor arrivals decreased by 2 percent compared to 2015, with 75.6 million coming to the U.S. for both business and leisure. This marks the first decline since 2009. In 2015, visitation increased by 3 percent.

International visitor spending dipped slightly as well, by 1 percent, to $244.7 billion across the U.S.

China, Mexico, India, and South Korea all increased visitation to the U.S. and spending while in the country. The U.S. experienced steep declines in both visitation and spending from Canada, Brazil, and Germany.

Canada, Mexico, and the UK still sent the most visitors to the U.S. in 2016, despite the decline. Travel from China to the U.S. increased 15 percent, to three million total visitors who spent $33 billion, the most of any visiting nationality.

Data so far from 2017 shows record visitor spending, perhaps the result of a slightly weaker U.S. dollar.

Check out the full results from 2016 below.

Download (PDF, 457KB)

Ryan Wolkov

PRC Time Shares

Author: Ryan Wolkov

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