Washington: Indian visitors spent a record USD 13.6 billion in the US last year, positioning India on the sixth spot among the top 10 international markets for the US in terms of visitor spending.
As many as 1.17 million Indians visited the US in 2016.
India is ranked 11th in terms of number of international visitors to the US in 2016.
A total of 75.6 million international visitors came to the US in 2016 for business, medical, education and leisure purposes, who collectively spent USD 244.7 billion across the country.
Compared to 2015, visitor arrivals decreased by two per cent and visitor spending decreased one per cent.
It was the first decline in visitors since 2009, the US Department of Commerce said in its latest annual report.
In 2016, travel and tourism was the largest services export for the US, comprising 33 per cent of services exports and 11 per cent of exports overall, it said.
China (USD 33 billion), Mexico (USD 20.2 billion), India (USD 13.6 billion), and South Korea (USD 8.6 billion) all experienced an increase in both spending and visitations.
China was up 15 per cent in the number of arrivals and nine per cent in spending; South Korea was up 12 per cent in visitations and four per cent in spending; Mexico was up two per cent in visitations and three per cent in spending.
India on the other hand increased four per cent in arrivals and an impressive 14 per cent in spending.
The remaining top markets experienced declines.
"The US has enjoyed increased visitor spending from travellers originating out of India in every single year ever reported, save one (spending was absolutely flat in 2009)," the annual report said.
In fact, in little more than a decade, travel and tourism exports to India have tripled, culminating into a record- setting USD 13.6 billion in 2016, said the Department of Commerce.
"Travel and tourism exports account for 66 per cent of all US services exports to India," it said.
This propelled India to the sixth spot in terms of spending, pushing Brazil behind.
It was not solely India's strong performance that sent Brazil packing in 2016, pushing Brazil down in the rankings; it was more so the substantial (and somewhat unexpected) decline in total Brazilian spending in the US that pushed Brazil down to seventh place, markedly declining nearly 20 per cent in 2016 to USD 11.0 billion.
In fact, the number of visitors from Brazil who travelled to the US plummeted by nearly 24 per cent to 1.7 million in 2016, the lowest level since 2011.
Brazilians dramatically reduced their outbound travel globally in 2016 (by as much as 15 per cent in some reports), but not as sharply as they did to America.
Arrivals from Brazil accounted for 2.2 per cent of all international arrivals to the US, it said.
While China is ranked fifth with 2.97 million visitors to the US, Chinese spent a whopping USD 33 billion to put it the number one country in terms of spending.
Canada, on top, which had 19.3 million visitors in 2016, experienced an eight per cent drop in its spending to USD 20.9 billion. It is ranked second after China in terms of spending.