According to the latest data recently released by the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), international visitors spent $18.8 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States in September 2023 – an increase of 24 percent compared to September 2022 and the highest level of monthly spending since December 2019 (before the onset of reported COVID-19 cases).
In fact, monthly US travel and tourism exports are within $2.0 billion of their highwater mark set back in March 2018 when international visitors spent an appreciable $20.8 billion experiencing the United States.
Conversely, Americans spent a record-setting $18.3 billion traveling abroad during September, yielding a balance of trade surplus of $494 million and the sixth consecutive month during which the United States enjoyed a balance of trade surplus for travel and tourism-related goods and services.
International visitors have spent more than $156.0 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (YTD) (January through September 2023), an increase of nearly 32 percent when compared 2022; international visitors have injected, on average, nearly $572 million a day into the U.S. economy YTD.
US Travel and tourism exports accounted for 22.3 percent of US services exports during September 2023 and 7.2 percent of all US exports, goods and services.
Composition of Monthly Spending (Travel Exports)
• Travel Spending
Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $10.8 billion during September 2023 (compared to $8.2 billion in September 2022), an increase of 32 percent when compared to the previous year. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.
Travel receipts accounted for 57 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in September 2023.
• Passenger Fare Receipts
Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled $3.0 billion in September 2023 (compared to $2.7 billion in the previous year), up 11 percent when compared to September 2022. These receipts represent expenditures by foreign residents on international flights provided by U.S. air carriers.
Passenger fare receipts accounted for 16 percent of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in September 2023.
• Medical/Education/Short-Term Worker Spending