WASHINGTON, DC, Sep. 14 – AAHOA President and CEO Chip Rogers issued the following statement in response to revised data reports that show record-setting spending by international visitors to the U.S. The Department of Commerce International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) announced that 2017 saw over 77 million international visitors who spent a record-setting $251.4 billion, a two percent increase over the previous year:
“Far too often, the mindset inside the beltway is ‘Good enough for government work.’ But when our government agencies are forced to adopt the rigorous standards and practices of the private sector, things get done the right way. America’s hoteliers commend the Department of Commerce for taking the time to get it right when assessing one of the hospitality industry’s vital economic components – international visitors. The average international visitor spends $4,000 during their stay in the U.S., and their record-setting contribution to the American economy in 2017 helped support more than 1.2 million American jobs. While some in the media and inside the beltway quickly and gleefully built a narrative around the inaccurate data to promote a political agenda that, puzzlingly, seemed to relish the declines in this crucial driver of the hospitality industry, the revised and accurate numbers released by the Department of Commerce illustrate what America’s hoteliers continue to see in the real world, that more international travelers are spending more of their money in one of the world’s greatest destinations, the United States.
“We are grateful that Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism Phil Lovas addressed the AAHOA and AHLA Legislative Action Summit this week and highlighted the NTTO’s commitment to reporting accurate data. His reaffirmation of the administration’s commitment to promoting more international travel to the U.S. resonates with our members, and we look forward to continuing to work with the administration to let the rest of the world know about everything America has to offer.”
The revised data for 2016 and 2017 is posted on the NTTO website: https://travel.trade.gov.