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TI News: An information service from Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

December 10, 2009

INTERNATIONAL VISITATION DOWN ONE PERCENT IN SEPTEMBER 2009

Year-to-Date Arrivals Eight Percent Below Last Year

The U.S. Department of Commerce announces that 4.1 million international visitors traveled to the United States in September 2009, a decrease of one percent compared to September 2008. Total visitation in the first nine months of 2009 was down eight percent compared to the same period in 2008. International visitors spent $10.3 billion during the month, 14 percent less than visitors spent in September 2008. September 2009 marks the eleventh straight month of decreases in international visitor spending. In the first nine months of 2009, visitors spent $90.6 billion, down 16 percent from the same period in 2008.

Highlights(1) (2)

Canada and Mexico

  • In September 2009, Canadian visitation increased three percent compared to September 2008. Measured by mode, land arrivals (1.1 million) grew two percent and air arrivals (421,000) increased four percent. In the first nine months of 2009, visitation from Canada decreased seven percent, with land arrivals (9.3 million) down eight percent and air arrivals (4.5 million) down seven percent.
  • Visitation from Mexico (traveling to interior U.S. points) totaled 440,000, down one percent in September 2009. For the month, land arrivals (315,000) increased three percent and air arrivals (124,000) decreased seven percent. Overall, traffic for the first nine months of 2009 was down six percent, with land arrivals (3.2 million) down one percent and air arrivals (1.1 million) down 17 percent.

Overseas (excluding Canada and Mexico)

  • Overseas visitation decreased four percent in September 2009 and dropped nine percent year-to-date.

Top 20 Countries

  • In September 2009, of the top 20 countries 11 posted decreases in visitation to the United States. Visitation from five of the top 20 countries registered double-digit declines, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland registered double-digit increases.
  • In the first nine months of 2009, 17 of the top 20 countries posted decreases in visitation to the United States, with visitation from seven countries registering double-digit declines.

To access the 2009 monthly arrivals data for Canada and Mexico, Overseas, and the Top 20 Countries, please visit http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2009-I-001/index.html

Top Five-Overseas World Regions for visitation to the U.S. - September 2009

OVERSEAS VISITATION

  • U.S. visitation from the 27 European Union countries declined 12 percent in September 2009 and dropped 11 percent from the first nine months of 2008.
  • U.S. visits from Western Europe, 970,000 visitors, were down 12 percent in September 2009. Year-to-date, arrivals (8.2 million) decreased 11 percent.
  • For the month visitors from Western Europe accounted for 45 percent of all overseas visitors. Year-to-date, U.S. visits from Western Europe accounted for 47 percent of overseas visitors.
    • U.S. visits from the United Kingdom, 372,000 visitors, were down 11 percent in September 2009, accounting for 38 percent of all Western European arrivals. Year-to-date, visitation from the United Kingdom dropped 16 percent and accounted for 35 percent of all Western European visitors.
    • German visits were down 13 percent for the month and down seven percent year-to-date. At the same time, French arrivals decreased seven percent in September 2009 and are down three percent for the year.
    • Italian visitation was down three percent in September 2009 and down seven percent year-to-date.Visitors from the Netherlands were down 13 percent for the month and down 11 percent for the year. Spanish visits decreased 15 percent in September 2009 and decreased 12 percent in the first nine months.
    • Visitation from Ireland decreased 38 percent for the month, and was down 22 percent for the year. Visitors from Switzerland and Sweden were down two percent and down 23 percent, respectively, for the month. In the first nine months, visits from Switzerland increased two percent while visits from Sweden decreased 20 percent.
  • Eastern European visits were down eight percent for the month, and down one percent for the year.Russian visitation decreased seven percent for the month, and was down one percent for the year.
  • Visitation from Asia increased four percent in September 2009 but was still down 12 percent in the first nine months of 2009.
    • Japanese visits were eight percent above the September 2008 visitor levels but down 14 percent in the first nine months of 2009. Japan accounted for 56 percent of all Asian visitors for the month and 51 percent of Asian visitors in the first nine months of 2009.
    • In September 2009, visitation from South Korea and India increasedone percent and decreased two percent, respectively. Year-to-date, arrivals from South Korea and India dropped 10 percent and 11 percent, respectively. In September 2009 arrivals from the People’s Republic of China were up 16 percent and increased three percent for the year.
    • Taiwanese visitation dropped 21 percent for the month and was down 23 percent year-to-date.
  • U.S. visitation from South America increased seven percent in September 2009 and increased four percent in the first nine months of 2009.
    • Brazilian visitation was up 13 percent for the month and up 11 percent in the first nine months. Brazil is the top visitation market from South America; and in the first nine months of 2009 accounted for 32 percent of visits from the region. U.S. visits from Venezuela increased three percent in September 2009 but declined one percent for the year.
    • U.S. visitation from Colombia increased 10 percent for the month and dropped three percent year-to-date. Argentine visits increased four percent in September 2009 and grew nine percent for the year.
  • Central American visits increased one percent in September 2009 bringing the region to a four percent decline for the year.
  • U.S. visitation from the Caribbean increased 10 percent in September 2009 and dropped three percent for the year.
    • Visitation from the Dominican Republic, the top visitation market from the Caribbean region for the year, increased 25 percent in September 2009 but declined four percent for the year.
    • In September 2009 there was a 10 percent increase in visits from the Bahamas. Year-to-date, visits were up 15 percent.
  • Travel from Oceania increased four percent in September 2009 but decreased two percent year-to-date.
    • Visits from Australia were up eight percent in September 2009 and were flat year-to-date. Australia accounted for 82 percent of all visits from Oceania in the first nine months of 2009.
  • U.S. visitation from the Middle East increased two percent in September 2009 and was down three percent year-to-date.
    • Israeli visitation to the United States decreased five percent in September 2009 and dropped six percent year-to-date.
  • U.S. visitation from Africa decreased four percent in September 2009 and declined eight percent for the year.

Business travel to the United States continued to decline at a greater rate than leisure arrivals for the first nine months of 2009. To access the rates of change for the top 20 overseas arrival markets comparing business, pleasure and total travel to the United States, visit http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2009-I-001/index.html

TOP PORTS: Year-to-Date September 2009

In the first nine months of 2009, overseas visits (excluding Canada and Mexico) dropped nine percent.  Visitation through the top 15 ports of entry accounted for 84 percent of all overseas visits, almost two percentage points higher than last year.

The top three ports of entry (New York JFK, Miami and Los Angeles) accounted for 39 percent of all overseas arrivals, up one percentage point from the first nine months of 2008.

Miami, Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale are the only ports in the top 15 ports that posted an increase in arrivals in the first nine months of 2009. Eleven ports posted decreases. Arrivals decreased by double digits through three ports.

In the first nine months of 2009, visitation through Chicago decreased 18 percent, moving it into seventh position behind Honolulu. Arrivals through Houston, decreasing only three percent, moved into 12th position ahead of Boston. Visitation through Philadelphia increased six percent moving it into 14th position, and Ft. Lauderdale jumped into 15th position as travel through Ft. Lauderdale increased three percent. At the same time, with arrivals through Detroit decreasing 36 percent, this port moved from 12th position into 16th position behind Boston, Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale.

To access top port activity, go to the OTTI monthly arrivals page above and scroll down the page until you see the yellow title bar entitled: 2009 Monthly Top Airports for Overseas Non-Resident Arrivals. Click on the Excel file to view the monthly port figures.

Arrivals to the United States by port-of-entry are tracked on a monthly basis. The U.S. Department of Commerce has arrivals data on more than 40 U.S. ports-of-entry from all world regions and 30 countries, with a brief analysis presented on the top 15 ports for overseas arrivals in 2009.

SOURCE:

The monthly Summary of International Travel to the United States report has approximately 30 tables that provide data on monthly and year-to-date arrivals to the United States. The report provides data on approximately 90 countries each month and more than 40 ports of entry. Numerous breakouts are provided by world region and country for the port tables as well.

To find out more about this program, please go to:
http://travel.trade.gov/research/programs/i94/index.html

If you would like to subscribe to the monthly international arrivals reports, please go to:
http://travel.trade.gov/research/reports/i94/index.html

U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue N.W., Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140, Fax: (202) 482-2887
http://travel.trade.gov/
Email: otti@trade.gov


1 Throughout this report, percent changes posted for September 2009 were calculated by comparing data in September 2009 to data in September 2008. Also, percent changes posted for year-to-date 2009 were calculated by comparing data January - September 2009 to data January - September 2008.

2 The U.S. Department of Commerce complies with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) standard definition and class of international travelers when reporting monthly and annual arrivals data. This standard excludes all day-trippers from any of the counts/estimates, including those from Canada and Mexico. Also, OTTI has included non-immigrant visa types E treaty trader or investor and I representatives of foreign information media into the counts to more accurately reflect business visitation.