4% decline in international travellers to USA

ast year, the USA experienced a 4% drop in international visitors, with 30% fewer arrivals from the Middle East. Inbound medical tourism is likely to have been even harder hit.

While global tourism is booming, 2017 was one of the worst years for American inbound tourism in recent history.

The main reasons for the drop are suggested to be the dislike towards the current travel policies in the USA and impact of decisions made by the Trump administration. Flight availability and visa application are also issues that have affected the flow.

Tourists around the world are asking themselves whether they’re welcome in the United States.

Earlier this year, the ‘Visit U.S. Coalition’ was formed to combat the slump through advocacy, lobbying, advertising and other methods. Members include the American Gaming Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the number of international visitors that arrived to the United States during the first seven months of 2017 decreased by 4%, over the same period in 2016. Comparatively, international tourism worldwide increased by 4%. One of the few US regions to see an increase was Los Angeles.

There was a decline of 8.5% (to 9.6 million) of travellers from Mexico. Every other overseas destination registered an overall drop of 6.4% to 19.9 million, while the inflow from Canada increased by 4.6%. This amounts to 11.6 million Canadians arriving in the USA. International arrivals fell by 30% from Middle Eastern countries, 14% from Central and South America, and 2% from Europe.

Apart from Canada and China, many medical tourists to the USA are from the Middle East plus Central and South America. So it is probable that medical tourism was hit even harder than general tourism.

Find out more about the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit USA, 28 April-1 May 2018, Washington. View the IMTJ profile of medical tourism in the USA.