Number of Americans traveling abroad rose during Trump’s presidency

Written by By Caroline Banton, CNN

The US is enjoying a return to tourism as the “overreaction” of President Donald Trump’s early days in office has subsided, according to a new report by the Global Business Travel Association.

Americans are still traveling abroad and are not boycotting international travel like they did after Trump’s election, according to the report published last month.

The Trump administration has shifted from its “get tough on immigration” approach to a more pragmatic approach, which encourages the visitors to come back, the travel association suggests.

Many of the US’s foreign visitors are of mixed political background, according to the report.


Indeed, the most popular country of choice for Americans is China.

More than 25 million US travelers visited China last year, making it the top destination for American visitors — but only 15% were of Chinese origin. The top nationality of those visiting China is Taiwanese, at 5.7 million.

China is the top market for the US as tourist, but the top nationality of US travelers to China is Taiwanese. Composite: Global Business Travel Association

The numbers show that Chinese travelers were still hit hard by the U.S.-China trade war and therefore went on vacation in less desirable destinations, such as Australia, Vietnam and Canada, according to the report. But in the months since, “the Chinese government has returned to its more stable tone,” which has eased travelers’ mind, the report said.

China’s anti-terrorism policies are also causing Americans to travel to other countries. The number of US travelers visiting Australia dropped by 25% compared to 2017, the report said.

Some 20% of all Americans traveling abroad in 2017 traveled to Taiwan, with 15% visiting Hong Kong. Youths constitute 50% of American travelers to Hong Kong. Photo: Google Maps

The balance of US travelers traveling abroad went from 26% in January 2018 to 31% in February.

“This is an important achievement and a positive message,” said GETA President and CEO Lisa Pearce. “The key to the USA’s success is to attract new markets like Canada, Singapore and the UK, and continue to shift away from countries and to countries with mutual interests.”

Reviving business travel

More than half of US travelers traveling abroad are traveling to meet business contacts, the report said.

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