U.S. Department of Commerce Releases New Travel Forecast

May 25, 2011

Mark Brown is an economist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.  He serves as the program manager for the Travel Forecast program.

Continued Strong Growth Expected in International Travel to the United States 2011-2016

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) projects international travel to the United States will continue experiencing strong growth through 2016.

Visitor volume is expected to increase 7 percent in 2011 and reach 64 million visitors who stay one or more nights in the United States.  This growth would build on the 9 percent increase in arrivals in 2010, which resulted in a record 59.7 million visitors.

According to the current forecast, the United States would see 6 percent to 8 percent annual growth rates in visitor volume over the 2012-2016 time frame.  By 2016 this growth would produce 89 million visitors, a 49 percent increase and an additional 29 million visitors compared to 2010.

Countries with the largest forecasted total growth percentages by 2016 are China (+232%), South Korea (+200%), Brazil (+150%), Russian Federation (+139%), and India (+94%).

The U.S. travel forecast was prepared by staff in the Department of Commerce/Office of Travel & Tourism Industries using economic / demographic / social factors, Commerce historical visitation trends, input from the DOC Commercial Service staff abroad, and other sources.

For more information on the OTTI Travel Forecast, including data tables for the world regions, data tables for the top 40 visitor origin countries, and justification for each country forecast, including positive and negative factors that might influence travel from each country to the United States, please visit:

Travel and tourism is the largest services export industry for the United States and has produced a trade surplus since 1989.  For official information on international travel to the United States, please visit:


  1. Thank you for useful information 🙂

  2. This is quite good to read as I had heard from other sources that tourism in the US has remained steady over the past decade. And that link to the Forecast page is quite interesting as well. Thanks for sharing that!

  3. 7 percent is fairly high number especially if we analyze post crisis period. There are not many industries which have raise in their business during last couple of years. But for me the biggest impact is China’s numbers. I didn’t expect them to be the most interesting location to travel into

  4. Right now as of August is good time to buy air tickets actually following steep drop in air fare and beaten up currencies in certain foreign countries
    I expect the travel numbers to tick up

  5. This is good news from an economic perspective. This essentially means there will be more foreigners spending money inside the United States. Forecasts are just forecasts though, and they could simply turn out to be incorrect.

  6. Well government should concentrate more on tourism. They should attract more visitors which can give continue growth of the country and economy. From 59 millions to 64 millions visitors is a good consitant growth because its almost 5 million visitors which even spend $1 each can bring 5 million dollars…Good on you…

  7. A little shocked at the increase in China and Korean stats… that is a huge increase!

  8. As China has been growing the residents travel more and more. Hong Kong gets MANY mainlanders visiting every day

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