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IPW: Travel spending tops $57 billion

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U.S. Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez highlighted new data today  (Jun 13 local) that show spending by international visitors to the United States in April 2013 totaled nearly USD$14.5 billion, an increase of more than 5% when compared to April 2012.

The news comes following the end of one of the most successful International Pow Wow (IPW) events ever held, which just wrapped up in Las Vegas.

International visitors have spent an estimated USD$57.9 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related services year to date in 2013 (January through April), an increase of 8% when compared to the same period last year.

“The latest data confirm the positive impact that travel and tourism is having on our economy,” said Under Secretary Sánchez.

“An increase in international visitor spending is helping us reach the goals of the President’s National Export Initiative, by increasing both exports and export-supported jobs.

“In addition, we are making progress toward our goal to welcome 100 million international visitors annually to the United States.

“This administration is committed to making America the number one tourist destination, which will further support millions of American workers who are employed by the travel and tourism sector.”

Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled USD$11.2 billion during April.

These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel. Fares received by U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors totaled nearly $3.3 billion for the month.

The United States enjoyed a favorable balance of trade for the month of April in the travel and tourism sector, with a surplus of nearly USD$4.2 billion.

Travel and tourism-related industries as a whole support nearly 7.7 million American jobs.

President Obama’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy, which was announced last year, aims to attract more than 100 million international tourists per year by 2021, visitors that would spend an estimated USD$250 billion per year, supporting more jobs and spurring economic growth in communities across the country.

Increasing U.S. travel and tourism will not come at the expense of national security. The President’s plan for common sense immigration reform includes a number of proposals to support his commitment to increasing U.S. travel and tourism while maintaining our nation’s security.

Specifically, the President’s immigration proposal reforms the Visa Waiver Program to strengthen law enforcement cooperation while facilitating more efficient trade and tourism to the United States, securely streamlines visa and foreign visitor processing, and strengthens and improves infrastructure at ports of entry.

These priorities are reflected in recently introduced bipartisan immigration reform legislation, which the entire U.S. Senate is currently debating.

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HM travelled to Las Vegas on Qantas, which offers daily flights to the city from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney via Los Angeles in partnership with American Airlines. Qantas has recently upgraded the Boeing 747s that fly on the Australia-Los Angeles route, which feature the new A380-inspired interiors including new, larger economy class seats in a cabin that’s highlighted by an extensive range of entertainment on demand alongside a great selection of Australian wine and meals designed by star chef Neil Perry. For bookings, visit www.qantas.com

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