Number of Indian Visitors to U.S. Falls for the First Time in Eight Years

South Koreans were the top visitors to the United States in 2017, according to a report by National Travel and Trade Office (NTTO).


For the first time in eight years, the number of Indians visiting the United States has recorded a fall, according to a report by the National Travel and Trade Office (NTTO).

About 11.14 lakh Indians traveled to the United States in 2017, which is about 5 percent less than 2016 when the number stood at 11.72 lakh, the report said. On the other hand, during the same period, American visitors to India saw a decline of 2 percent. In 2016, 18.2 percent Americans visited India and the corresponding number fell to 16.2 percent in 2017.

According to the Times of India, the last time the U.S. ever witnessed low turnout of Indian visitors was in 2009 when only 5.5 lakh Indians visited the country. This was about 8 percent less than the previous year. That was a time the global financial crisis had set in and travelers, visitors, corporates, and businesses cut down on travel. But since then Indian visitors were increasing every year up to 2016.

Nearly 77 million international visitors visited the United States in 2017, according to NTTO, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. The growing markets were led by South Korea (+17.8 percent), Brazil (+11 percent), Argentina (+10 percent), Ireland (+9 percent), and Canada (+4.8 percent).  Growing markets outnumbered declining markets by 2-to-1.

In April 2018, the NTTO had temporarily suspended publication of overseas arrivals data due to anomalies in records received from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “Together, the NTTO and CBP identified approximately 4.5 million records that had been misclassified with respect to residency, due to a programing error. The misclassification had not been identified until it became apparent that the records were not reflecting trends consistent with other indicators of overseas travel to the United States,” NTTO said in a statement. “The data has been revised for 2016 and 2017.”

NTTO has forecast an increase in the number of Indian visitors to the United States during 2018-2022, according to the Times of India.

The report also showed that fewer Americans visited India in 2017. About 16.2 percent of Asia-bound American travelers spent their dollars in India, a decline of 2 percent when compared to 2016 when that number was 18.2 percent. In 2010, 14 percent Americans visited India, which jumped to 17.1 percent in 2012 and 19.1 percent in 2013. In 2014, 18.8 percent Americans came to India on a tourist visa, and the number fell to 17.7 percent in 2015.

China is now the preferred travel destination in Asia for American tourists, the NTTO said.

The United States welcomed nearly 77 million international visitors into the country, who collectively spent a record-setting $251.4 billion experiencing the country in 2017, a two percent increase when compared to 2016. In 2017, travel and tourism exports helped support more than 1.2 million American jobs across the United States, the report said.

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