The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that international visitors spent an estimated $11.4 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of July-$1.5 billion more (16%) than was spent in July 2009-marking the seventh consecutive month of growth in U.S. travel and tourism exports. International visitor spending in the United States increased an average of $927 million a month in 2010.
"The travel and tourism industry's remarkable growth this year is good news for our small and medium-sized businesses, which account for more than 80 percent of the travel and tourism industry," said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. "The Obama administration is committed to continuing our robust efforts to attract even more tourism here because we recognize the critical role that international visitors to the United States play in creating jobs and growing our economy."
The travel and tourism industry represents $1.3 trillion of the U.S. economy, supporting 8.2 million U.S. jobs and accounting for 8 percent of all U.S. exports. One out of every 16 Americans works, either directly or indirectly, in a travel and tourism related industry.
International visitors have spent an estimated $76.5 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services since the beginning of the year, an increase of 9 percent compared to the same period last year.
American's are also spending more abroad, but the U.S. maintains a $17.2 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism.
Earlier this month, Locke appointed 11 travel and tourism industry leaders to serve on the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) Board of Directors. The CTP - created by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 - is a new non-profit corporation that will promote travel to the United States and communicate and improve the entry process so that visitors want to return.