The US has suffered a “steep decline” in its share of international travel which is set to continue for at least another three years, the US Travel Association has warned.

The US Travel Association reported a four-year slide in the country’s share of global long-haul travellers from 13.7% of the market in 2015 to 11.7% in 2018, representing a ‘loss’ of 14 million visitors and $59 billion in spending.

In its latest US Travel forecast, the industry association forecast a further decline to below 11% by 2022.

It called for urgent confirmation of Federal funding for marketing body Brand USA to arrest “the steep and steady decline”.

Tori Barnes, US Travel Association executive vice-president of public affairs and policy, said: “Passing legislation to renew Brand USA is the most immediate move to help correct this problem.

“We hope this shows Congress the urgency of getting that done this year.”

The association attributed the decline to the strength of the US dollar “which makes traveling here much more expensive”, to “trade tensions which materially dampen the demand for travel” and to “stiff competition from rivals”.

It noted: “Brand USA was authorised by Congress a decade ago as an answer to the aggressive tourism marketing campaigns by countries that compete with the US for travel market share.

“Unlike almost every other national tourism programme, Brand USA operates at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.

“It is funded by a small fee on international visitors to the US, plus contributions from the private sector.

“[But the] Brand USA funding mechanism is set to expire soon.”

Barnes said: “Most Americans believe the US should be the world leader in everything. But reclaiming our market share is not just a matter of pride, it is economically vital.

“Recapturing our market share should be a national priority.”