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Domestic tourism in the U.S. - statistics & facts

Domestic, or local, tourism refers to residents traveling within their own country, as opposed to international destinations.The size of the United States means there are many opportunities for domestic travel. Additionally, international travel requires a passport. While the number of people holding passports in the United States has risen year-on-year for the past decade, there are still many without, for whom domestic travel is the only option. Today, the domestic tourism industry in the United States is a significant contributor to the economy, and domestic travel spending in the U.S. reached 972 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

Types of domestic tourism in the U.S.

Domestic travel not only includes those traveling for vacation, but also those traveling for business. Business trips made up a smaller portion of the total number of domestic trips in the U.S. than leisure trips, and by 2024 the combined total number of business and leisure trips was expected to surpass two billion. When it comes to domestic leisure travel, one popular type is camping. In 2021, the market size of the U.S. campground and RV park sector reached nearly eight billion U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, another common type of domestic travel in the U.S. is national holiday travel. Around Thanksgiving, for example, the U.S. experiences a surge in domestic travel as many people visit their families. The number of Thanksgiving holiday travelers in the U.S. exceeded 50 million in 2020, though this number decreased from the previous year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which reduced travel possibilities nationwide.

Impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

With the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, the tourism industry was majorly impacted as normal travel was not possible and many regions went into lockdown. International tourism was particularly disrupted due to travel restrictions being imposed to slow the spread of the virus across global borders. As residents of the United States were often unable to travel abroad, some turned to vacationing in their local area, which is referred to as a “staycation.” As of August 2020, the share of U.S. adults who took a staycation during COVID-19 reached nearly 30 percent. Some cities were more conducive to staycations than others, and rural areas often offered cheaper vacation opportunities. The cheapest U.S. cities for a staycation included Omaha, Houston, and Oklahoma City. That being said, annual growth in domestic travel in the U.S. still sharply declined in 2020, decreasing by over 30 percent.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 21 most important statistics relating to "Domestic tourism in the U.S.".


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