US foreign visitor numbers rise again

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The US had withdrawn from the Paris Agreement this year

Travel to the US by visitors from 62 countries is rising again, US officials say.

The number of overseas visitors to the US rose by 4.6% to 2.4m last year – around the same level as a year earlier.

It is the biggest rise in 17 years, though several countries are still comparatively poor.

The travel report says visitor numbers from Iran, Iraq and Syria are still well below those in 2005, the year before Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

Some 91% of Americans visit other countries, including those nations hit by conflict and state-sponsored terrorism.

US agency Bureau of Travel and Tourism Economics (BTTE) says the increase in overseas visitors to the US is in line with the increase in people visiting other states from those nations.

The figures come as the US government unveiled a long-awaited $50bn (£38bn) infrastructure plan.

It aims to revive the international economy and lead a push for US tourism and manufacturing.

According to the latest figures from the Foreign Trade and Tourism Monitor, the US lost $624m due to inbound travel in the first 10 months of 2018.

The foreign contribution to the industry fell from 24% in 2006 to 16% in 2017.

Worldwide, international tourism visitors also grew by 5.8% to 6.6bn, according to a report by Euroconsult earlier this year.

The number of Europeans visiting the US rose by 12% while that from Canada increased by 9.7%.

However, there is still an almost five-fold difference between arrivals from North America and Europe.

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