People from all over the world are visiting the United States in growing numbers and spending more money during their travels, according to the latest data from the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Approximately 76.9 million people visited the United States in 2017, the most recent year reported. The largest increases in travelers came from South Korea, Brazil, Argentina and Ireland.

Pie chart showing countries with most visitors to the U.S. (State Dept./L. Rawls)
(State Dept./L. Rawls)

Along with the total number of visitors, international spending also increased in 2017. Travelers spent $251.4 billion, which was a 2 percent gain from 2016.

Business spending is helping fuel the increase, said Lorri Crowley, public affairs specialist with the National Travel and Tourism Office. “In 2017, international visitors spent nearly $39.7 billion on business-related travel [goods and services], accounting for nearly 16 percent of all international visitor spending in the United States,” she said.

Looking ahead, multiple sources expect the numbers for 2018 to increase as well. Data from the National Travel and Tourism Office showed more visitors to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018 than in any previous year. Similarly, the U.S. Travel Association forecasts a 5.7 percent increase for 2018, and growth to continue in 2019 and beyond.

This article was written by freelance writer Lane Mikula.