Travel spending from abroad jumped almost a billion dollars

Visitors from outside the United States are bringing plenty of cash with them. In February, they spent $11.6 billion on travel to the country and on tourism-related activities once they got here. That’s an increase of $970 million over February 2010. To top things off, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, this is the fourteenth month in a row that foreign visitor spending has increased.

On average, the cash that visitors from outside our borders being spent has grown more than $1 billion a month, on average, this year. It looks like people are traveling – and spending – again!

Foreign visitors spent $2.7 billion on travel to the United States in February, up close to 15 percent year over year. Spending on travel- and tourism-related goods and services in the United States hit $8.9 billion in February, up 7 percent. This includes “food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.

In January and February, foreign visitors spent a total of $23.3 billion on travel to the United States and once here, up 10 percent year over year.

Meanwhile, Americans have spent $17.4 billion outside the country this year (including travel), representing an increase of 4 percent from the first two months of 2011.