International tourism in the U.S. set a new record level of spending for the first four months of 2017, amounting to $83.4 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Travel & Tourism Office.
Foreign travelers to and within the country spent a total of $20.8 billion in expenses during April, up 2.97% year over year. The amount included an increase in travel receipts by 3.50% to $17.6 billion, while purchases of goods and services among international travelers rose 2.30% to $13 billion.
The figures represent a bright prospect for businesses directly tied to the tourism sector. Destination marketing organizations (DMO) that aim to attract more visitors to different cities and states should consider modern strategies. A DMO application like Visit Widget, for instance, serves as an effective marketing tool since it allows tourists to plan a trip by using their mobile phone.
Despite some concerns about losing tourism business due to the new White House administration, the U.S. Travel Association said that it has yet to see any indication of a shutdown in the travel industry, according to Chris Kennedy, the U.S. Travel Association’s senior director of strategic communications.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that “America is open for business.” By business, Ross meant that America still welcomes travelers from abroad. Still, some steps should be taken to ensure the safety of citizens and visitors, he added.
As recent incidents involving terror attacks unfolded in countries such as the U.K and France, it’s not entirely surprising that the U.S. will adopt strict security measures. Still, Ross believes that it is possible to implement a “dual mission,” which focuses on national security and tourism promotion.
The recent figures prove that the U.S. will likely remain to be a favorite tourist destination among foreigners, despite the current government’s stance on international travelers.