Discover more from Trendline
✈️ US Awaits Foreign Travel Return
Unpacking The Post-Pandemic Trends
Welcome back to another edition of Trendline
Today we are looking at International travel - specifically its state in US since the pandemic.
Lets dive in!
Chart of the week
Made using Vizzlo
Travel is a huge contributor to the US economy.
Spending from direct travel was almost $1.2 Trillion in 2022, and the industry employed 8 million Americans (LINK)
However, while the industry is recovering well from the sledgehammer impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are some segments which need more attention.
One of them is International travelers/visitors - people coming from overseas to the US (either for leisure or business travel reasons).
As seen in the chart above - in 2019, in the first 7 months of the years, ~45million international visitors came to the US. This figure took a big hit in 2020 and 2021 due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. However, even 3 years after, International visitors are still ~19% below 2019 levels (or 8.4 million fewer visitors) - Note that this is comparing year to date (YTD) figures from Jan-July
Looking at breakdown by source countries, we see some interesting implications:
Unequal recovery from neighbors: In 2023 so far, 2% more visitors arrived from Canada compared to 2019, but Mexican visitors are still 25% below 2019 levels
Long haul travel from Asia is recovering slowly: Travel from key Asian countries is still significantly below (45%) 2019 levels - esp. for China, South Korea and Japan. China was the last major country to reopen fully from Covid-19, so expect foreign travel from Chinese tourists to increase significantly in 2024
European visitors are yet to come back fully: Europeans (esp. Western Europeans) travel a lot. However, W. European visitors to the US are still 25% below 2019 levels. This is also partially impacted by the general increase in preference among Europeans to travel within the continent.
Its also likely that the macro economic uncertainty and the heightened inflation has played a role in the slower recovery we see in the numbers above.
It will be interesting to see how long does it take for International travel to return back fully to the pre-pandemic level in the US - esp. given its importance to the US economy
Here is the question for this week’s quiz.
You can simply scroll to the bottom of the post to see the answer. (Remember to answer the question first 😃
Before you go
Which topics do you want to see in this newsletter? Are there any specific charts you would like to see? Hit REPLY and tell me
Answer to the business quiz question is New York, by a long margin! (Source)
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! 👋
Found yourself here? Subscribe below to get the next post directly in your inbox