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Tracking tourism patterns: A detailed look at how international travelers visit the U.S


As interest in America fades in some corners of the world, tourism surges from other regions. And while international visitors arrive with a range of hopes and motives in mind, their various pursuits contribute to a broader outcome – an injection of cash into the American economy.

UAE real estate database Bayut.com analyzed data from the National Travel & Tourism Office to better understand where travelers are coming from, why are they visiting, and how much are they contributing to the American economy.

Some key findings:

  • European tourists top the list for international spending in the U.S. – accounting for $41.9 Billion in 2017
  • The peak month for international travelers to the U.S. happens in August, which is also the cheapest month to travel overseas ($498 on average per passenger)
  • New York City welcomes the most international travelers on average annually (about 6.8 million), followed by Miami (5.2 million), then Los Angeles (4.6 million)
  • The UK topped the list of U.S visitors with 6.2 million UK tourists visiting the U.S from Jan 2017 to May 2018 – 76.1% visited for pleasure, while 16.5% came for business purposes

Data for this project were obtained from several data sets released by the U.S. National Tourism and Travel Office. Data were taken from the I-94 Program: 2015-2018 Monthly-Quarterly-Annual Arrivals Data, International Visitation in the United States Market Research, and the International Travel Receipts and Payments Program. To calculate estimated projections for Middle East tourism from 2017 to 2021, the average rate of change for visitors and spending from 2008 to 2016 was calculated and applied as a scaling factor to project the currently unreleased/unavailable data.


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