North America

International tourists spend four times as much as domestic travelers

Brazilian and Australian tourists are reportedly the biggest spenders.

Brazilian and Australian tourists are reportedly the biggest spenders.  (Reuters)

While tourists can occasionally be an annoyance to some U.S. residents during the busy summer months in metropolises like New York City and Los Angeles, the revenue they bring in on a local and national level is enormous.

Some nearly 13 million international tourists spend on average four times the amount that U.S. tourists do during trips to New York City, said NYC & Company, the city's official tourism board, in a statement  to Travel + Leisure.

On any given day, New York City welcomes 175,000-180,000 visitors, according to Chris Heywood, SVP of global communications for NYC & Company.

Brazilian and Australian tourists were the top spenders, dropping some $2 billion and $1.87 billion in New York City in 2015 respectively. Europeans rounded out the top five highest spenders, with British travelers to the Big Apple on average spending about $1.6 billion in 2015; French travelers spending $1.11 billion; and Germans $1.1 billion.

Nine out of 10 foreign visitors go shopping, compared to fewer than three domestic visitors, Quartz reported, and it is the top activity for international tourists — even ahead of sightseeing and museums.

New York City is bracing for a dip in revenue, however, as the destination revised down its 2017 forecast and is expecting to see 300,000 fewer international visitors than in 2016. Industry leaders have pointed to heightened restrictions on entering the U.S., particularly after Trump instated a series of executive orders that limited travel from several majority Muslim countries.

“The data are all showing a pretty dramatic shift in behavior and interest,” Adam Sacks, president of travel forecasting company Tourism Economics, told The New York Times. “That certainly accelerated since the executive order.”