NTTO: International visitors spent $16.5B in the U.S. in December

According to data from the National Travel and Tourism Office, international visitor spending in the U.S. surged 49% in December 2022 compared to December 2021.  

International visitors spent roughly $16.5 billion on travel and tourism-related activities in the U.S. in December 2022, the single highest month for tourism-related exports since February 2020. 

Americans spent more than $15.5 billion while traveling abroad, resulting in a balance of trade surplus of $932 million in December 2022.   

Preliminary data revealed that, throughout 2022, international visitors spent almost $162.6 billion on travel- and tourism-related products and services in the United States in 2022, nearly doubling (up 96% from the prior year). In 2022, international travelers contributed an average of more than $445 million per day to the national economy. 


Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by overseas visitors in the U.S. increased 68% to $9.1 billion in December 2022, up from $5.4 billion in December 2021. 

Compared to 2019, ravel receipts totaled $11.8 billion. The goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transport and other items incidental to foreign travel.   

In December 2022, travel receipts accounted for 55% of total U.S. travel and tourism exports. 

Fares received by U.S. carriers from overseas visitors surged 62% to $3.2 billion compared to $2 billion in December 2021. In 2019, the U.S. exported roughly $3.4 billion in passenger air transportation services. These receipts are expenditures by international flights of U.S. carriers.   

Passenger fare receipts represented 20% of total U.S. travel and tourism exports in December 2022.  

Expenditures for educational and health-related tourism and all other expenditures by border, seasonal and other short-term workers in the country rose 14% to $4.2 billion in December 2022, compared to $3.7 billion in 2021.  

In December 2019, this spending totaled more than $4.8 billion. 

In December 2022, medical tourism, education, and short-term worker expenditures accounted for 25% of total US travel and tourism exports.