Written by Adriana Latimore, CNN
More than 4 million tourists will visit the US this year, the Commerce Department estimates, again leaving the country to have a greater impact than any other country in terms of the dollar value of exports. The data is part of the revised US Tourism Industry Outlook report, released Tuesday
According to the Department of Commerce, foreign tourists are also returning to the US, mainly because of solid economic recovery and a new 25% duty-free card issued by the US Customs and Border Protection and Department of Homeland Security that makes it easier for travelers to cross the border and participate in visa-free or non-visa-free tourist programs.
The report covers tourism-related industries in 58 countries, including Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Argentina, and Thailand.
More than 47 million American tourists traveled abroad in 2017, spending $477 billion. The country was also the fourth largest destination for international tourists in the world, according to the US Travel Association.
Surveys by the association earlier this year showed that 51% of American respondents were still planning to visit another country this year.
US tourism as a whole has benefited from a slow recovery over the past decade since the fall of the US economy in 2008.
In 2016, the report shows that 95 million Americans traveled abroad, spending $282 billion in foreign destinations. According to Travel and Tourism Council data, 72 million American holidaymakers traveled overseas in 2018, with local economies in 42 of the top 50 markets more than doubling their share of US tourism between 2015 and 2016.
According to the report, business and leisure travel will lead the rebound, accounting for 65% of the increase in international travel.
That said, political developments that have triggered travel alerts and travel warnings by some countries, such as Mexico, and poorer performance by some countries, such as Italy, Mexico and South Africa, are expected to offset the gain.