The travel industry in the United States is enormous, with over $887 billion spent every year on lodging, food services, transportation, and amusement. The most is spent on dining, with over $209 billion going to restaurants and other food service entities nationwide. Hotels and retail stores also capture a generous portion of what travelers spend.
Well-maintained roads and secure facilities throughout the country afford Americans the ability to travel confidently across the states. As do U.S. citizens, foreign travelers also find the United States a safe and easy country to visit and vacation in. In 2022, the U.S. had over 94 million international arrivals into airports and seaports. Of these, the majority were directly from Canada and Mexico, with the remaining arrivals from various countries overseas. The U.S. Travel Association calculates that every international traveler to the U.S. spends $4500 on their stay, which averages about 17 days.
Since the attacks of September 2001, it has become more difficult for foreign travelers to enter the United States, as fewer visas are issued and fewer foreign passports are allowed into the country. These security procedures have curtailed some travel to the U.S. but have not dampened the desire to visit the United States.
In aggregate, the travel industry generates over $2 trillion in economic activity, which includes direct spending, taxes, and jobs. Nearly 15 million jobs are supported by the industry, producing over $200 billion a year on wages earned by U.S. workers.
The average leisure traveler is age 47.5, which represents a typical consumer in their prime spending years and most likely with children. Thus, the majority of companies in the travel and leisure industries tend to create and focus their activities and themes around the desires and interests of this age group.
Source: U.S. Travel Association