Travel South Region Poised For Strong Recovery In 2023 And Beyond

A strong recovery and promising growth is on the itinerary for the USA and the Travel South USA (TSUSA) region as 2023 enters its final quarter according to Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company.

The forecasts revealed that inbound travel spending to the Travel South region is expected to see a year-over-year increase of 110% in 2023, reaching a total of $6.31 billion in travel spending, or 71.8% of the spending in 2019. This projection is expected to surpass the U.S. national average by 2.6%.

TSUSA has collaboratively set an ambitious goal to achieve $10 billion in spending by 2026, or even sooner. This goal aims to not only fully recover the 10% growth experienced between 2014 and 2019 but also bolster an additional 26.8% growth in spending from 2019 to 2027, solidifying the Travel South region’s position as a top destination for international travellers.

Mike Mangeot, Commissioner of Kentucky Tourism and current Board Chair for TSUSA, expressed assurance in the region’s ability to recover and thrive, observing: “We are confident that while the USA and Travel South region continue to recover from the pandemic, the strong demand of international travellers for authentic food, music, culture, outdoor adventures, and road trip itineraries position the South for growth.”

Canada is the number one market for the Southern USA, with its travel spending to the TSUSA region forecast to recover to 78.4% in 2023, compared to the high of $1.12 billion in 2019. The forecast anticipates a continued upward trajectory, with spending expected to reach 86.1% in 2024 and 100.6% by 2025.

Europe continues as the number one overseas market, with the UK/Ireland, German-speaking Europe, the Nordic region, and French-speaking countries leading the visitor spending growth. The projections indicate a strong recovery in these markets:

  • The UK and Ireland’s travel spending is forecast to recover to 71.8% in 2023, or $755 million, with further increases projected for 2024 and 2025 at 80.7% and 93.5%, respectively.
  • Germany, Austria & Switzerland’s travel spending is expected to recover to 77.3% in 2023, or $535 million, with continued growth to 88.9% in 2024 and 104.2% in 2025.
  • Despite inflationary issues, the Nordic region is forecast to recover to 65.9% in 2023, equivalent to $211 million in travel spending. Future predictions anticipate recovery to reach 84.7% in 2024 and 102.8% in 2025.
  • France’s travel spending is predicted to recover to 81% in 2023, or $166 million, and projected to reach 95.1% in 2024 and 109.8% in 2025.
  • Benelux’s travel spending is expected to recover to 82.8% in 2023, or $135 million, with further growth in 2024 and 2025 to 95.7% and 114.1%, respectively.
  • Italy’s travel spending is projected to recover to 76% in 2023, equaling $96 million, with increases anticipated to 80.6% in 2024 and 94.6% in 2025.

The Travel South Global Partner Program is also showing strong signs of recovery in key markets:

  • Australian travel spending is forecast to recover to 85.9% in 2023, or $243 million, with impressive growth expected in 2024 and 2025 to 103.5% and 124%, respectively.
  • Brazil’s travel spending is predicted to recover to 74.7% in 2023, totaling $254 million, and is expected to further recover to 89.7% in 2024 and 106.8% in 2025.
  • India, South Korea, China, Spain and Mexico are among the top 15 origin markets. With the exception of China, TSUSA does not currently market to these countries. In China, they have maintained a small investment to keep social media channels open by posting twice a month to over 70,000 followers, receiving 4,700 monthly page views. TSUSA will continue to monitor these countries to renew its in-market efforts at the right time.

TSUSA is focused on strategic marketing initiatives and tactics to continue to drive this recovery, including an investment Tourism Exchange USA, a new technology platform that provides visibility and the ability to book in underserved markets.

TSUSA remains committed to fostering B2B relationships with trade and journalists worldwide through the International Showcase & FAMs, Global Media Marketplace & FAMs, IPW Concert and Global Partner Programming. Collaborative efforts with Brand USA are a priority with advertising and co-op marketing partnerships at all levels to drive returns for states and destination partners.

With these positive forecasts and strong initiatives, Travel South USA is positioned well to lead the way in the recovery of international traveler spending in 2024 and beyond.

Go to for more.