BY: Maria Valencia
Americans traveled abroad nearly as often in February as in 2019, according to the latest statistics from the National Travel and Tourism Office. 6.2 million Americans, 97% of the February 2019 figure and 46% more than in February 2018, left the country to travel abroad.
In addition, Americans made significant purchases abroad in February. According to data released in April by the National Travel and Tourism Office, Americans spent a total of $17.4 billion abroad, setting a record.
Since the lifting of travel restrictions last year, Americans have been flocking to foreign countries to vacation and spend money. Americans are believed to have greatly assisted European cities such as Paris and London in their economic recovery.
More people left the country in February than came. The United States received 4.1 million foreign tourists in February, an 83% increase over the corresponding month in 2022. Still, that’s only 81% of the February 2019 level.
When it comes to travel that month, more money went out than in. In February, foreign visitors spent $9.5 billion. This is far less than the $17.4 billion Americans spent, resulting in a record-high travel trade deficit for the United States of more than $480 million.
The U.S. Travel Association has frequently suggested that the long wait times for visas to countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and India are one reason for the travel deficit and the delayed restoration of pre-pandemic levels of inbound visitors. The State Department has taken a number of measures to reduce waiting times.
In February, there were a total of 1.5 million foreign visitors with visas for “pleasure” or tourism, up from 900,000 in the same month a year earlier.
The United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Brazil, and Germany were the nations that sent the most tourists to the United States. By region, visitors from Europe made up the largest international sector. More than 1.4 million passengers came from Europe in February.
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