• Windjammers pass by the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse in Rockland, Maine.
    Windjammers pass by the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
    Rockland, Maine

Why International Visitors?

Discover New England (DNE) is a cooperative marketing alliance funded by the New England states to attract international travelers to the region. These travelers are often much more familiar with the New England "brand" than they are the individual states. DNE focuses its promotional efforts on the top overseas markets of the United Kingdom/Ireland, Germany, Japan and Australia. Below, learn more about why international travelers are important to New England and the important role they play in the U.S. economy.

Data sources: the U.S. Department of Commerce — International Trade Administration — Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTA), National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), and International Trade Association Forecast.


Why focus on international travelers?

  • International visitors are sophisticated and savvy travelers, perfect for New England.
  • They enjoy the abundance of cultural and learning experiences found in this region of the country.
  • International visitors spend up to 10 times more than the domestic visitor.
  • The average European gets 4-6 weeks paid vacation and typically takes at least one international vacation a year.
  • These visitors do not cancel because of the weather.
  • They often travel at different times of year and fill the "slow" gaps in the U.S. market.
  • Because they are here for long periods of time, international travelers help fill beds in New England hotels and inns on weekday nights when these properties might otherwise have vacancies.

International Visitors & New England — 2016 Data

More than 2.1 million overseas visitors came to New England in 2016 (excludes Canada and Mexico).

  • U.K. Travelers: an estimated 267,000 visited the New England region in 2016. 
  • German Travelers: an estimated 169,000 came to New England in 2016.
  • Japanese Travelers: 80,000 in 2016  
  • Australian Travelers: 72,000 in 2016

The Status of International Travel to the U.S. & New England — 2016

International Visitation:  37.6 million international visitors (excludes Canada/Mexico) came to the U.S. in 2016. International travel is one of the largest exports for the United States, ranking ahead of agricultural goods and motor vehicles. 

Spending: In 2016, international visitors spent more than $244.7 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services.  

Top Markets: For 2016, the top 10 markets for international visitors (excludes Canada/Mexico) into the U.S. were: China, United Kingdom, Germany, India, France, Japan, Brazil, Australia, South Korea and Scandinavia. 

International Travel Forecast — 2015-2020: According to a U.S. Commerce Department forecast, by 2020, an estimated 96 million international visitors (excludes Canada and Mexico) are expected to travel to the U.S. 


Travel from the United Kingdom — 2016

U.K. travelers rank third in overall incoming visits to the U.S. (behind Canada and Mexico) and second for overseas travelers to America. An estimated 267,000 UK visitors came to New England in 2016 with direct spending of $533.3 million.**


Travel from Germany — 2016

In 2016, Germany ranked sixth in overall visitation to the U.S. and third for incoming European countries. An estimated 169,000 German travelers came to New England in 2016 with direct spending of $274.4 million.**


Travel from Japan — 2016

In 2016, Japan ranked fourth in visits to the U.S. by overseas travelers. An estimated 80,000 Japanese travelers came to New England in 2016 with direct spending of $189.6 million.**


Travel from Australia — 2016

Australia ranks 10th in overall incoming visits to the U.S. by overseas travelers. An estimated 72,000 travelers came to New England in 2016 with direct spending of $202.2 million.**


** Visitor spending includes: all leisure, education and other travel spend.

Learn more about Discover New England's Annual Tourism Summit & International Marketplace to see how your organization might increase its business from overseas travelers.