International visits to the United States fell 12 percent in May 2009 from the year before. Those still flying over spent a lot less – only $9.5 billion, down 22 percent from the same period last year. May was the seventh consecutive month in which international visitor spending declined. For the first five months of the year, international visitation fell 10 percent, and spending dropped 14 percent to $50.1 billion relative to the first five months of 2008.
Do we need to ask why?
The global financial system is stilly trying to recover from the effects of the worldwide credit crisis. Rises in unemployment and corporate cost-cutting measures have put incredible pressure on the travel industry, and the continued decline in travel exports only exacerbates the situation. Travel is the top services export business in the United States, and the loss of foreign money will almost certainly impede a recovery.