US aims for 90m visitors annually
A new national travel and tourism strategy that focuses federal government efforts to support the US travel and tourism industry, was announced by US Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo last month.
The strategy sets an ambitious five-year goal of attracting 90 million international visitors to the United States each year. It is estimated these visitors would spend $279 billion annually—expenditures that will support job creation in communities across the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia.
In 2020, the Department’s National Travel and Tourism Office reported that the decline in travel and tourism to and within the United States accounted for 56 per cent of the decline in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), and travel exports dropped 65 per cent in 2020 when compared to 2019, or pre-pandemic levels.
However, throughout 2021, with a robust vaccine rollout and effective travel policies centred around health and safety, along with lifting travel restrictions when it was safe to do so, monthly overseas arrivals to the United States increased from roughly 775,000 in October 2021 to more than 2 million in April 2022. As a result, international travel to the United States has generated a trade surplus in each of the past five months indicating a positive trend toward recovery even as international travel remains below pre-pandemic levels.