Travel Forecast Shows Downward Trend in Inbound Visitors

Economic concerns and long visa wait times have caused a decline in travel to the United States, according to the latest biannual forecast from U.S. Travel.

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The U.S. Travel Association's biannual travel forecast reported a significant decrease in international inbound travel for the rest of 2022 and 2023. 

In June, Tourism Economics estimated that international tourism volume would reach 67 percent of prepandemic levels by the end of the year, and 82 percent next year. Those numbers have now been adjusted to 63 percent and 75 percent, respectively, representing a loss of 8 million visitors and $28 billion in related spending. International inbound travel is projected to fully recover in 2025.

The trend is due in part to economic concerns, according to U.S. Travel, as well as excessive wait times for visa applicants. Potential visitors from top markets including Mexico, Brazil and India currently have to wait between 400 and 800 days just to meet with U.S. Consular officials. 

"While economic concerns are natural, excessive visitor visa wait times are a man-made obstacle that the Biden administration seemingly refuses to address," said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "Reducing visitor visa wait times in top inbound markets will drive visitation and help protect the American economy."