Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California (Photo via minddream / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released new data further proving the recovery of international travel to the United States is happening now, just slower than many other countries’ independent recoveries.
In a partnership with ForwardKeys on international flight booking, the WTTC saw a large portion of international travelers arriving in the United States after the government dropped the pre-arrival COVID-19 test requirement.
While international spending isn’t expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2025, far behind other countries’ predicted recoveries as early as 2023, ForwardKeys’ flight data does recognize bookings to the U.S. jumped 93 percent during the past six weeks compared with 2021.
Leading the international travel growth are the most iconic American cities, such as New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Orlando. The majority of travelers are from Canada, Germany, France and Brazil, though travelers from Chile and Japan have been growing, too.
For travelers from the United States, international travel remains a popular type of travel this year, with outbound flight bookings reaching just 5 percent under 2019’s levels. Top destinations include Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Italy and the Philippines.
“This finding echoes our previous study showing the U.S. lagging other countries in international visitors, resulting in a slower-than-expected recovery of international tourism revenue,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO. “The good news is the Travel & Tourism sector is resilient and sensible border-crossing policies and reduced restrictions are helping to fuel the sector’s recovery. But more international travel is key to ensuring the pace and scale of full recovery.”
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