(RNN) – It was a record year for international tourism.
More than 1.3 billion people visited other countries. That’s a 7 percent increase and the strongest in seven years.
For the second straight year, the United States didn’t take part in that increase, says a report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
The total number of international visitors coming to the United States dropped 4 percent in 2017. Even with that decline about 73 million people paid a visit to the U.S. In 2016, the amount fell by more than 2 percent.
A strong dollar and controversial policies on immigration and travel introduced by President Trump's administration contributed to the decline in U.S. tourism.
"The deterioration in demand from key markets such as the U.K. and Mexico can be attributable to the less desirable image of the U.S. under Trump following controversial decisions such as the travel ban," tourism analysts at Euromonitor told CNN Money. "But also the strong dollar [acted] as a deterrent, coupled with the current less stable political situation."
With its losses, the United States dropped to No. 3 on the world’s most-visited list. Spain took over the second spot with 82 million visitors. Perennial leader France held onto No. 1 with 89 million people as the nation’s tourism rebounded after terror attacks in recent years.
Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.