U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank highlighted new data this month that shows spending by international visitors to the United States in March 2013 totaled more than $14.4 billion, an increase of nearly 3 percent when compared to last y ear. International visitors spent $43 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the first quarter of 2013. The data release coincides
with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated each y ear to recognize the positive impact the industry has on our economy .“International travel and tourism represents our country ’s largest services export,” said Deputy Secretary Blank. “So far this y ear, international visitor spending in the United States has markedly outpaced U.S.
spending abroad by more than $13 billion, which continues our momentum from 2012’s record-setting year. Likewise, last week’s jobs report showed continued strong job growth in the leisure and hospitality industry . Travel and tourism is an important sector of our economy , which is why we are continuing to increase our efforts to attract more international tourists to vacation in the United States.”
Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $11 billion during March. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel. Fares received by U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors also increased by nearly 3 percent to $3.4 billion for the month, an increase of $7 0 million when compared to March 2012. Overall, the United States enjoyed a favorable balance of trade for the month of March in the travel and tourism sector, with a surplus of $4.2 billion.