US hits 5-year high in international tourism

Written by By Staff Writer

The number of tourists visiting the United States is increasing, putting American tourist destinations such as Chicago in position to fill up upcoming peak seasons.

Just last month, the United States attracted 3.6 million international travelers, a figure that represents an increase of 7% compared to the same month last year. The States welcomed almost 49 million international visitors in 2017, up from 42 million in 2016, according to statistics from the US Department of Commerce .

First Consecutive Year since 2001 With 2.7 million international travelers Americans’ numbers in 2017, the largest total in the past five years. — US Commerce Dept.

The number of Spanish, Canadian and Korean visitors visiting the country are rising.

The increase has been helped by the fact that the American economy is stronger than the rest of the world, providing potential tourists with more spending cash.

The US also appears to be benefitting from travelers that have been on the fence for 2018 after the Donald Trump administration implemented policies that restricted visas. The Homeland Security Department’s decision to issue one visa per fiscal year to travelers from Chad , Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen sparked anger among some travelers.

The backlog of visa applications has also dropped from 92,477 on January 5 to 74,596 on February 8 — a 52% reduction .

“I hope that once again, this year will be a record-breaking year for the country of the United States. It is a shining star in this world,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Doha, Qatar, in September.

This comes despite the fact that 41% of Americans don’t see the United States as a global tourist destination — which is lower than the OECD average of 44%.

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