Tourist Dollar Gap

May 18, 1966

Report Outline
Weight of Tourism in Payments Deficit
Growth of Foreign Travel by Americans
U.S. Efforts to Attract Foreign Tourists
Special Focus

Weight of Tourism in Payments Deficit

A ffluent americans are planning to travel abroad in record numbers this year. Each dollar they spend overseas will represent a debit entry in this country's balance of international payments and contribute to a continuing drain on the U.S. gold supply. The Commerce Department does not now talk about reducing the “travel gap” —the difference between the money spent by Americans traveling in other countries and money spent by foreigners in this country. Yet some observers estimate that the travel gap, which mounted last year to $1.8 billion, will hit the $2 billion mark in 1966.

Administration officials have not said publicly that consideration is being given to recommendations to curtail overseas spending by travelers. However, on successive days this spring, Secretary of the Treasury Henry H. Fowler pointed out (1) that increasing numbers of tourists were winging their way overseas and (2) that Americans would be following the path of “responsible restraint” by postponing “wherever possible travel abroad and substituting travel in this country.”

Continuing Sizable Increases in Foreign Travel

The record shows that nearly 100 countries together were hosts to 75 million persons of various nationalities in 1965, compared to 66.7 million in 1964 —an increase in international travel of 12 per cent. The money flow in international tourism amounted to $11 billion. U.S. tourists and businessmen spent $2.5 billion for travel abroad last year, 11 per cent more than in 1964. About half of the expenditures abroad were made in Canada and Mexico, while most of the remainder was distributed among various European countries. According to the International Union of Travel Organizations, European countries combined accounted for 74.2 per cent of the world's tourist traffic and received 64.4 per cent of the earned receipts, while North America accounted for 16.4 per cent of the traffic and 16.2 per cent of the receipts.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Tourism and Vacation
Sep. 24, 2021  Travel and COVID-19
Nov. 09, 2018  Global Tourism Controversies
Oct. 20, 2006  Ecotourism
Jun. 17, 1988  America's ‘Vacation Gap’
May 04, 1984  Tourism's Economic Impact
Jul. 21, 1978  Tourism Boom
May 14, 1969  Summer Camps and Student Travel
May 18, 1966  Tourist Dollar Gap
Apr. 19, 1961  Two-Way Tourism
Jul. 20, 1955  Competition for Passenger Travel
Jul. 03, 1946  Travel Boom
Jun. 17, 1930  Foreign and Domestic Tourist Traffic
Travel and Tourism