Bloomberg via msn - Lily Girma

Plagued by ongoing staffing shortages, visa delays and even political division, the US travel industry has lagged competitors in reclaiming its share of international visitors since the Covid-19 pandemic. By the end of 2023, the sector reached just 84% of 2019 visitation levels, according to the US Travel Association.

Now, a first-of-its kind study from Euromonitor International, whose findings were first released to the public on Jan. 11, sheds additional light on how much the US is trailing its global competitors. Commissioned by US Travel, the independent market research firm’s study analyzed 18 countries’ travel industry performance—including France, the UK, Italy, Canada, Spain and South Africa. It examined data across four categories: government leadership and its engagement with the travel industry (25% weighting); global perception (20%); identity and security, which includes visa wait times and expedited clearance programs for low-risk travelers (35%); and travel connectivity, which includes international arrivals and flight access (20%).

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