Foreign travelers to U.S. dropped more than $30bn in first quarter

Travel spending bounced higher March, even though the bar was set pretty low. Foreign visitors spent an estimated $10.8 billion on travel to and tourism-related activities in the United States that month. That’s an increase of nearly $1.1 billion – or 11 percent – over March 2010. So, travel exports grew for the second month in a row, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Foreign visitors to the United States generated $2.4 billion in passenger fare receipts (the cash paid to get to or from the United States) and $8.4 billion in travel receipts (everything else) in March. Travel receipts were up 13 percent, with passenger fare receipts gaining 6 percent year over year.

For the first quarter of 2010, international visitors dropped almost $31.8 billion on travel and tourism – up 4 percent. Americans spent $25.5 billion abroad during the same period.