By Mia Taylor
Americans spent a record $15.8 million on international travel-related tourism activities in January, according to the latest data from the National Travel and Tourism Office’s monthly travel trade monitor.
That figure is higher than any other single month leading up to the pandemic’s outbreak in January 2020.
Additional agency data show that U.S. citizen air passenger departures from the U.S. to foreign countries reached 4.28 million in January, which was a 75 percent increase over January 2022. That figure also surpasses January 2019 volume by 7 percent.
International visitors arriving in the United States meanwhile, spent about $14.7 billion on travel to the U.S. and tourism-related activities within the country during the same month. That’s a 63.9 percent year-over-year change. Of that amount, the spending solely within the United States by international visitors amounted to $7.9 billion, which is 114.4 percent higher than a year earlier.
The difference between Americans’ spending abroad and international visitors’ spending in the U.S. amounts to a $1.1 billion deficit, according to the agency.
Total air passenger travel, which includes both arrivals and departures between the United States and other countries for January, was led by Mexico, with 3.4 million trips, followed by Canada at 2.1 million and the United Kingdom at 1.16 million.
The data regarding American travel abroad supports another recent report, this one from TripIt, which found that Americans are very optimistic about travel in 2023 and are not letting inflation impact their travel plans.
Separately, the tourism office also said that inbound travel to the U.S. is expected to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2025 and reach 91 million international visitations by 2027, which is in line with the government’s recently announced National Travel and Tourism Strategy.
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