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October 24, 2007

U.S. COMMERCE DEPARTMENT FORECASTS RECORD ARRIVALS
FROM TRAVELERS TO THE UNITED STATES

The U.S. Department of Commerce projects record arrivals and receipts from international travelers to the United States in 2007. The forecast exceeds the previous record arrival year of 2000, when more than 51.2 million international travelers visited the United States. In 2007, the United States is projected to host almost 54 million international visitors; a 5 percent increase over 2006.

In 2006, the United States hosted 51 million international visitors, a 4 percent increase from 2005. The arrivals forecast for 2007-2011 predicts that by 2011, international arrivals will reach 61 million, an increase of 20 percent between 2006 and 2011.

The U.S. Travel Forecast was prepared by the Department of Commerce in conjunction with Global Insight, Inc. (GII). Forecasts are derived from GII’s econometric travel forecasting model and are based on key economic and demographic variables as well as DOC consultation on non-economic travel factors.

Forecast Highlights by Region

North America – The top two markets generating visitors to the U.S., Canada and Mexico, are forecasted to grow by 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in 2007, and to grow by 19 and 15 percent, respectively, from 2006 to 2011. In addition, Mexico has set a record for arrivals and spending in each of the past five years.

Europe – Visitors from Europe are expected to generate an 8 percent growth rate in 2007, and a 25 percent growth from 2006 to 2011 to reach 12.6 million visitors. The United Kingdom is projected to post a 5 percent growth rate in 2007, securing its position as the top overseas market. Germany, France and Italy are the next largest arrival markets within the region. France is forecasted to lead the growth among these three markets in 2007.

Asia Pacific – Asia is projected to generate annual growth averaging 3 to 6 percent each year. The largest Asian market and second-largest overseas market, Japan, is forecasted to grow by 17 percent, to reaching nearly almost 4.2 million visitors by 2011. Stronger growth is predicted to come from the Republic of Korea (+27%); Australia (+26%); India (+66%); the Peoples Republic of China (+81%); and Taiwan (+23%) over the forecast period to 2011.

South America – South America is projected to expand by 33 percent from 2006 to 2011, the largest regional growth rate. The largest source market from within the region, Brazil, is expected to be up 39 percent by 2011 from 2006 levels. Double-digit growth is also projected for Venezuela (41%) and Argentina (38%) over the forecast period.

Travel and tourism represents the top services export for the United States and has produced a travel balance of trade surplus since 1989. For official information on international travel to the United States, including additional information on the forecast for travel to the United States for 2007-2011 for all world regions and 40 countries, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov.

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The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries publishes visitation data for more than 200 countries that generate visitors to the United States, as well as visitation data for each world region .To learn more about international visitation and visitor spending in the United States, access the 2006 data tables, and to read additional analyses of these data, please visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/inbound.general_information.inbound_overview.html