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Tourism in the United States

Tourism in the United States

the United States recorded a total of 45 million tourists in 2020, ranking 4th in the world in absolute terms.

The fact that larger countries regularly perform better in a comparison of the absolute number of guests is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of the United States, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.14 tourists per resident, the United States ranked 106th in the world. In North America, it ranked 3rd.

The United States generated around 84.21 billion US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.40 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 100 percent of all international tourism receipts in North America.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism


Back to overview: United States

Most popular destinations in the United States

No less than 7 cities in the United States are among the top 100 most popular destinations worldwide. In 2019 New York reached the 11th place with 14.01 million tourists. According to Euromonitor, all foreign tourists with at least one overnight stay were counted.

CityTouristsRankChange
New York14,010,000#11+3.0%
Miami8,336,800#29+2.7%
Los Angeles7,725,900#33+3.0%
Las Vegas6,639,300#38+0.7%
Orlando5,725,700#46+3.1%
San Francisco2,987,500#77+3.0%
Honolulu2,853,100#84+4.2%


Tourism in the United StatesOn average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 1,581 US Dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of the United States spend only around 682 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in the United States from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in the United States each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 3 countries in North America.

Tourists per year in the United States

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 93.74 billion USD, or about 1.2 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 79.73 million tourists at that time and roughly 1,176 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has decreased substantially. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 84.21 billion USD, accounting for 0.40 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 1,870 USD for his holiday in the United States.

Tourism receipts in the United States per year

All data for the United States in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
202045.04 m84.21 bn $0.40 %1,870 $
2019165.48 m239.45 bn $1.1 %1,447 $
2018169.32 m241.98 bn $1.2 %1,429 $
2017174.29 m233.76 bn $1.2 %1,341 $
2016175.26 m228.55 bn $1.2 %1,304 $
2015176.86 m230.57 bn $1.3 %1,304 $
2014178.31 m222.75 bn $1.3 %1,249 $
2013179.31 m213.11 bn $1.3 %1,188 $
2012171.63 m195.11 bn $1.2 %1,137 $
2011147.27 m178.94 bn $1.2 %1,215 $
2010162.28 m161.82 bn $1.1 %997 $
2009160.51 m137.11 bn $0.95 %854 $
2008175.70 m149.09 bn $1.0 %849 $
2007175.30 m134.80 bn $0.93 %769 $
2006183.18 m121.03 bn $0.88 %661 $
200571.48 m116.68 bn $0.90 %1,632 $
200467.61 m107.21 bn $0.88 %1,586 $
200362.08 m94.81 bn $0.83 %1,527 $
200264.43 m97.42 bn $0.89 %1,512 $
200170.98 m105.45 bn $1.00 %1,486 $
200078.34 m118.32 bn $1.2 %1,510 $
199975.80 m109.19 bn $1.1 %1,441 $
199874.77 m105.10 bn $1.2 %1,406 $
199782.53 m107.05 bn $1.2 %1,297 $
199682.76 m102.20 bn $1.3 %1,235 $
199579.73 m93.74 bn $1.2 %1,176 $


Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The WTO additionally points out that in some countries the number of tourists is only counted at airports, in others also at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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