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Published on : Monday, April 17, 2017
In February 2017, international travelers spent $21 billion in the United States. This is nearly 3% increase over the same period from the year before. This made the first two months of 2017 the strongest for foreign tourism spending on record.
According to monthly statistics released this week by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office, international tourist spending in the U.S. totaled $42.1 billion for January and February. In January and February, international visitors, on average, spent nearly $715 million a day in the U.S. that supported 1.2 million American jobs.
In February 2017, foreign visitors spent some $13.1 billion on goods and services that include food, accommodations, activities, local transportation and souvenirs; $3.3 billion on airfare (a 0.4 percent increase over February 2016) and $4.7 billion on medical, education and short-term worker related travel. In February, medical tourism and related spending by travelers in the U.S. was up by more than 10%, as travelers increasingly travelled to the U.S. for specialty medical care and treatments.
Although February was the month when President Trump’s executive order came into effect banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., many trips in January and February were booked months in advance before President Trump was elected. The UNWTO data shows that increased spending by Chinese travelers in the U.S. last year is a key factor why international tourist spending in the U.S. remains strong and is likely to be so this year.