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New study reveals insights on how to fix foreign tourism decline

Top 5 attractions that would inspire a foreign traveler’s visit to the America are: 1) Disney World 2) Disneyland 3) The Grand Canyon 4) Statue of Liberty 5) New York City.

America is missing out on a global tourism boom. In fact the U.S. is one of only two global destinations that saw a decline in international tourism in the last three years. With foreign tourists generally spending four times as much as domestic tourists, what can America do to reverse this trend?  

PGAV Destinations, a design & architecture firm that has created some of the world’s most exhilarating attractions (theme parks, museums, zoos aquariums, etc.), sought out to understand foreign tourists’ motivations to inform how the U.S. might increase inbound travel.

PGAV released Welcome! 2019 Profile of International Visitors to America, a report developed in partnership with H2R Market Research which highlights perceptions from close to 1,000 travelers from the five greatest feeder markets to the United States -Canada, Mexico, China, UK and Japan– representing 65 percent of inbound travel.  

High-level results include:

  • Top priorities for foreign travelers in a visit to America:
    – Diverse Selection of Activities and Attractions Nearby (88%)
    – Safe and Wholesome Atmosphere (87%)
    – Place that is Welcoming to Visitors from Other Countries (86%)
    – Local Transportation Options for Convenient Travel Between Cities (81%)
    – Easy to Use Public Transit (80%)
    – Unique Experiences that are Out of the Ordinary (80%).
    – mInterestingly enough, the two lowest priorities are officering language translation services and a place that offers culturally sensitive amenities.
  • Shopping is the number one driver. Top five drivers for international visitors to America include: Shopping (42%), Theme Parks (27%), Historic Landmarks (18%), Museums (10%) and Sightseeing Tours (10%)
  • Weak Perceptions of U.S. brand assets.  Less than half of Americans and significantly lower numbers of foreign travelers agreed that America has brand assets such as Small Town Charm, Friendly People, Unique and Out of the Ordinary, Affordable, – Tolerant of other People, Races and Religions (please see infographic below for details)
  • Top American icons foreign travelers are familiar with. Of 54 attractions, only three were familiar to at least two thirds of the respondents: Disneyland (66%), Disney World (70%) and the Statue of Liberty (66%).
  • Top 3 most visited American destinations: 1) Los Angeles, 2) Las Vegas and 3) Orlando
  • Top 5 attractions that would inspire a foreign traveler’s visit to the America: 1) Disney World 2) Disneyland 3) The Grand Canyon 4) Statue of Liberty 5) New York City

Additionally, PGAV Destinations unveiled the fourth edition of its Voice of the Visitor: Annual Outlook on the Attractions Industry report, which has quickly become the gold-standard study for tourism managers in the U.S.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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