THE US Government today outlined an ambitious new visitation target which envisages the country welcoming 90 million international tourist arrivals annually by 2027, with visitor spending amounting to US$279b.
The benchmark is part of a comprehensive 2022 US Travel and Tourism Strategy which was unveiled at the IPW trade show in Orlando, Florida (see p2) by Grant Harris, the US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis.
Putting tourism and travel at the forefront of government policy was recognition that the sector is America’s second biggest export market, Harris said.
The new benchmark envisages a rapid rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, outstripping the 79.4 million figure for international visitors to the USA in 2019.
US arrivals dropped to 19 million in 2020, with Harris admitting “we’ve got a lot of work to do to get those numbers back up”.
Harris said in 2019, travel and tourism supported 9.5 million US jobs and generated US$1.9 trillion in economic activity.
“This is the vital sector that we want to continue to partner with and support and help regrow and come back stronger out of the pandemic,” he said.
Four key pillars involve promoting the US as a travel destination; facilitating travel to and within the US; ensuring diverse, inclusive and accessible travel experiences; and fostering resilient and sustainable travel and tourism operations.
Harris said the plan would include streamlining entry processes for international visitors, helping build tourism industry careers, and showcasing America’s unique tourism product.
The full strategy is available online at commerce.gov.