From January through November 2017, international travelers
in the U.S. spent 3.3% less than the year before, the U.S. Travel Association
The drop translates to a loss of $4.6 billion and 40,000
jobs, U.S. Travel said, citing numbers put out by the Commerce Department's
Bureau of Economic Analysis.
"For our country to have any hope of closing the trade
gap, international inbound travel must perform, simple as that," said U.S.
Travel Association CEO Roger Dow. "After almost a decade and a half of
relatively sustained post-9/11 recovery, since 2015 there's been evidence that
the country has gotten complacent with the policies needed to support this
vital economic engine and job creator."
The numbers reverse what had been a spending increase on the
part of international travelers. Although the number of visitors who came to
the U.S. through June was down, spending was up 3%.
The numbers come ahead of U.S. Travel's launch on Jan 16 of
the Visit U.S. Coalition, of which U.S. Travel is a founding member. U.S.
Travel said the coalition "will bring together a broad cross-section of
industries whose goal is to partner with the Trump administration to address
the decline in international visitation."
New data will show that the U.S. has been lagging behind
other countries, losing market share, said U.S. Travel.
"Our collective aim is to spotlight the value of
international travel to the Trump administration and encourage a shift in tone
and policy to better facilitate secure travel to America," Dow said on
a Twitter video.