International visitors spend $82 billion in U.S.

Across the country, international visitors have spent $82 billion traveling in the U.S. — an 11 percent increase over last year — which puts the travel industry on track to for a record-setting year.

“America’s economic recovery is being driven largely by the travel industry,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Each international visitor we welcome to the U.S. helps to support local communities and small businesses across our country.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration said the new data confirmed that the U.S. travel and tourism industry is on pace for another record-setting year and, if these trends to continue, international visitors could end up injecting more than $169 billion into the U.S. economy by the end of the year.

“The travel data released today indicate that the second quarter of 2012 set a new record for travel and tourism exports,” said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “Tourism is a bright spot in our economy and is our No. 1 services export.”

International visitors spent an estimated $13.8 billion on travel and tourism in the United States in June 2012—$860 million more than was spent in June 2011. Travel and tourism-related exports have increased, on average, more than $1.3 billion a month during the first six months of 2012.

Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $10.6 billion during June, an increase of 7 percent when compared to last year. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, the number of visitors coming to the state on marketable leisure trips and business trips rose by 4 percent in 2011, according the Longwoods International report released in June. Total travel spending in the state was $10.76 billion.

Colorado welcomed more people on outdoors, special event, mountain resort and casino trips in 2011; but, the state saw a drop in the number of people coming to Colorado to visit friends and family.

Colorado continued to lead all states in the competitive overnight ski travel market, garnering 19 percent of all trips in 2011.

“2011 was, on balance, a good year for travel and tourism in Colorado,” the report concluded.