U.S. Travel Answer Sheet

Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $3.1 billion a day, $128.6 million an hour, $2.1 million a minute and $35,700 a second.



  • Direct spending on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers totaled $792.4 billion in 2019.
  • Spending on leisure travel generated $124.6 billion in tax revenue.
  • 4 out of 5 domestic trips taken are for leisure purposes (80%).
  • U.S. residents logged 1.9 billion person‐trips* for leisure purposes in 2019.
  • Top leisure travel activities for U.S. domestic travelers: (1) visiting relatives; (2) shopping; (3) visiting friends; (4) fine dining; and (5) rural sightseeing.

*Person-trip defined as one person on a trip away from home overnight in paid accommodations or on a day or overnight trip to places 50 miles or more [one-way] away from home


  • Direct spending on business travel by domestic and international travelers, including expenditures on meetings, events and incentive programs (ME&I), totaled $334.2 billion in 2019.
  • ME&I travel accounted for $139.3 billion of all business travel spending.
  • U.S. residents logged 464.4 million person‐trips* for business purposes in 2019, with 38% for meetings and events.

*Person-trip defined as one person on a trip away from home overnight in paid accommodations or on a day or overnight trip to places 50 miles or more [one-way] away from home


  • In 2019, U.S. Travel Exports (includes general travel spending, international passenger fares, as well as international traveler spending on medical, educational and cross‐ border/seasonal work‐related activities) totaled $255 billion. International Travel Imports totaled $196 billion, creating a $59 billion travel trade surplus.
  • International arrivals to the U.S. totaled approximately 79 million in 2019, about half of whom came from overseas.
  • The United States’ share of total international arrivals is 5.4% (down from 6.4% in 2015).
  • The United States’ share of global long‐haul travel is 11.3% (down from 13.7% in 2015).
  • International travel spending directly supported about 1.2 million U.S. jobs and $33.6 billion in wages.
  • Each overseas traveler spends approximately $4,200 when they visit the U.S. and stays on average 18 nights.
  • Overseas arrivals represent about half of all international arrivals, yet account for 84% of total international travel spending.
  • Top leisure travel activities for overseas visitors: (1) shopping; (2) sightseeing; (3) fine dining; (4) national parks/monuments; and (5) amusement/theme parks.


By the numbers
$1.1 trillion

Total domestic and international inbound traveler spending in the U.S. which generated a total of $2.6 trillion in economic output

15.8 million

Jobs supported by travel expenditures (includes 9.0 million directly in the travel industry and 6.8 million in other industries)

$277.4 billion

Wages shared by American workers directly employed by travel

$179.7 billion

Tax revenue generated by travel spending for federal, state and local governments


Percentage of nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) attributed to travel and tourism

1 out of 10

U.S. jobs that depend on travel and tourism

No. 7

Where travel ranks in terms of employment compared to other major private industry sectors

2.3 billion

Number of person-trips* that Americans took for business and leisure purposes


Percentage of travel companies that are considered small businesses (2015)

79 million

International arrivals in the U.S. in 2019

Top 10

Travel is among the top 10 industries in 49 states and D.C. in terms of employment