Foreign Tourism to the United States May Not Return to Normal Until 2024

There’s no doubt that the travel industry is taking a drastic hit in 2020, and all signs point to a slow and difficult road to recovery ahead.

MCO Airport

Orlando Sentinel reported today that foreign tourism may not return to pre-pandemic levels in the United States until 2024.

Christopher Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, shared his predictions with the members of the Economic Club of Florida. Thompson, who was the former chief operating officer and president of Visit Florida, noted that even the presence of a vaccine won’t be enough for tourism to return to normal levels.

MCO Airport ©Orlando International Airport

This isn’t the first time we’re hearing news of foreign tourism facing such a bleak future in the short-term. The popular European travel company TUI has canceled all American-bound holidays through December of 2020, and Virgin Atlantic has continued to delay when they will resume flights to the United States.

©Orlando International Airport

Thompson hopes to inspire travel to the United States organically and to not force travel on anyone. At the same time, however, he pointed out that travelers have to feel healthy and safe while they travel as well as at their destination in order for international travel to be at the levels it once was.

Do you live outside of the U.S.? When do you think you will be able to travel abroad again? Let us know in the comments!

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5 Replies to “Foreign Tourism to the United States May Not Return to Normal Until 2024”

  1. we have had three trips to the USA cancelled, April Florida – July New York and September Florida – the moment the ‘gates’ are open we will be on our way – so sad to have missed out this year

  2. Same opinion as Nic. We are from the UK and would trust Disney to keep us safe but until Virgin etc begin to fly again and the US lets in visitors from the UK it’s impossible! As I type this I should actually be at Bay Lake Towers right now (DVC member) but obviously this was cancelled. We are hoping to come at Christmas to the Boardwalk but sadly the longer this goes on the more doubtful I am this will happen. As soon as we can we will return for our Disney fix! Stay safe everyone and thanks Molly for at least giving us a taste of Disney from afar!

  3. I would be happy to travel to Walt Disney World now, if I could, though I would stay in the WDW bubble as I believe their safety precautions are more than sufficient alongside my own common sense. Sadly, the US still isn’t allowing UK/European travellers across the border, so until that happens, I’ll be sat waiting!

  4. In Canada here. Travel restrictions likely to continue for the rest of this year at least. We had a trip planned for late 2020/early 2021, but we’ve cancelled it all (except the non-refundable DVC room). As much as I miss WDW, I’m not planning a trip to Florida until the numbers are under control. We have a population of 14.5 million in my province and are down to less than 100 new cases per day. Life is very close to normal again, with the exception of masks and distancing. The only types of businesses not open are ones with very large gatherings (i.e. theme parks, sports, concerts). It looks like this will be the new normal for a few years. I’ll monitor the travel restrictions and plan a trip to a Disney resort once it is safe to do so. It may not be WDW.

  5. I live in the Netherlands (Europe), we planned a trip to the USA this summer, but unfortunately the trip was cancelled. As soon as we are allowed to travel to the US we will plan a new trip. It looks like this is not realistic anymore until 2021 soonest.