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Strong US dollar creates opportunity to boost travel and tourism

WTTC  Mar 22, 2016

The strong US dollar has contributed heavily to travel and tourism growth in the Americas, as the United States outbound travel and tourism expenditure grew by 6.3% in 2015.

The Economic Impact Reports, the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC’s) flagship annual research, provide economic data on the contribution of the travel and tourism sector on a global level as well as for 184 countries and 24 regions.

US neighboring countries, Canada and Mexico, saw their visitor exports (money spent by foreign visitors in the country) grow by 8.5% and 28.9% respectively in the last year. The Caribbean, as a key US destination market, also saw its visitor exports increase by 5.9% in 2015, which is significantly above global average of 2.4%.

In South America the strong US dollar and a growing regional middle class have also been driving sector growth, with 17 out of 19 countries experiencing growth in total travel and tourism contribution to GDP. Paraguay (+23.1%), Panama (+12.5%), and Nicaragua (+12.1%) achieved the fastest growth in the region.

Venezuela and Brazil were the only South American countries that saw their travel and tourism economies decline in 2015, by 2.9% and 0.5% respectively. A strong currency depreciation in Brazil, and reduction in local disposable income, reduced outbound tourism spending by 5.1% in 2015. However, the country reported a strong increase in visitor exports due to depreciation making the country a cheaper destination.

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Strong US dollar creates opportunity to boost travel and tourism

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