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May 20, 2008


Year-To-Date Arrivals 13 Percent above Last Year

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that 3.3 million international visitors traveled to the United States in February 2008, an increase of 15 percent over February 2007. Total visitation year-to-date 2008 was up 13 percent from the first two months of 2007. International visitors also spent $11.6 billion during the month, up 26 percent from February 2007. See press release here >>> https://trade.gov/press/press_releases/2008/tourism_052008.asp

Highlights of February 2008 International Arrivals1 to the United States

  • Canadian visitation grew 24 percent over February 2007 driven by air arrivals, up 19 percent and ground arrivals, up 29 percent. Year-to-date arrivals were up 18 percent.
  • Arrivals from Mexico (traveling to interior U.S. points) were up eight percent in February 2008. Air arrivals for the month were up 5 percent. Overall traffic for the year was up nine percent with air arrivals up seven percent.
  • Overseas arrivals increased 11 percent in February and 10 percent year-to-date. Overseas markets have grown for 10 consecutive months.

    Overseas Arrivals - February 2008
  • Visitation from Western Europe was up 17 percent in February 2008 and 14 percent year-to-date accounting for 43 percent of all overseas arrivals. Eastern European arrivals, up 17 percent for the month and 16 percent for the year, continued double-digit growth from October 2007. Russian visitation increased 20 percent for the month.  
  • Arrivals from the United Kingdom were up 11 percent in February and nine percent year-to-date. Visitors from the U.K. accounted for 40 percent of all Western European arrivals.
  • German, French, Italian and Irish arrivals were up 24 percent, 22 percent, 17 percent and 20 percent, respectively, for the month and up 19 percent for Germans and French, 15 percent for Italians and up 21 percent for the Irish in 2008, continuing growth trends from 2007. Visitors from the Netherlands and Spain were up 17 percent and 22 percent, respectively, for the month and 16 percent and 19 percent for the year. Arrivals from Sweden were up 22 percent for the month and 20 percent for the year; on average visitation from Sweden is above the 18 percent growth rate for 2007.
  • Visitation from Asia increased four percent in February and also year-to-date. Japanese arrivals were one percent above the February 2007 visitor level, but were still down one percent for the year. Japan accounts for 55 percent of all Asian visitors for the year. Arrivals from South Korea, PR China and India grew by nine percent, 28 percent and 13 percent, respectively, in February and five percent, 31 percent and 14 percent so far in 2008. Taiwanese visitation dropped 26 percent for the month and is down seven percent in 2008.
  • Arrivals from South America were up 13 percent in February and 19 percent for the year. Double-digit growth in visitation was observed from Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia both for the month and year-to-date. Brazil was up three percent for the month, but is up 22 percent in 2008. Brazil is still the top arrivals market from South America, accounting for 35 percent of arrivals from the region. Central American arrivals increased 16 percent in February and 14 percent for the year. However, visitation from the Caribbean declined seven percent for the month and eight percent in 2008. In February there was a 45 percent decline in arrivals from the Bahamas and a six percent drop from the Dominican Republic. Air arrivals from the Caribbean were down nine percent for the year.
  • Travel from Oceania increased 12 percent in February and eight percent in 2008 with Australia registering an 11 percent increase for the month and eight percent also for the year. Australia accounted for 84 percent of all arrivals from Oceania in 2008.
  • Arrivals from the Middle East and Africa increased by six percent and 10 percent, respectively, during February and seven percent and nine percent, respectively, so far in 2008.

To access the 2008 monthly arrivals data for world regions and top markets, visit

The following is a summary of top port arrival activity for February 2008 year-to-date.

TOP PORTS February 2008 Year-to-Date

Arrivals to the USA by port-of-entry are tracked on a monthly basis. Department of Commerce has arrival data on more than 40 U.S. ports-of-entry from all world regions and 30 countries. A brief analysis is presented on the top 15 ports for overseas arrivals during 2008.

Overseas arrivals (excludes Canada and Mexico) were up 10 percent through February 2008. Arrivals through the top 15 ports-of-entry accounted for 86 percent of all overseas arrivals about the same as in 2007.

Thirteen of the top fifteen ports posted increases in arrivals for the first two months of 2008. Arrivals increased by double digits through six of the ports. Arrivals through Newark were up 18 percent moving it into 4th position, ahead of Honolulu, which experienced flat growth. San Francisco moved ahead of Agana (Guam) which was the only major port to register a decline in arrivals. Arrivals into Orlando took a jump, up 48 percent, advancing it into 11th position, ahead of Houston and Detroit. Fort Lauderdale moved into the top 15 February year-to-date.

To access top port activity, go to:

1(The U.S. Department of Commerce complies with the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) 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” representative of foreign information media into the counts to more accurately reflects business visitation.

The monthly Summary of International Travel to the U.S. report has approximately 30 tables that provide data on monthly and year-to-date arrivals to the country. 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://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i94/index.html

If you would like to subscribe to the monthly international arrivals reports, please go to:

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
14th & Constitution Avenue NW, Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone:(202) 482-0140
Fax: (202) 482-2887
Email: Otti@trade.gov