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July 14, 2008


Year-To-Date Arrivals 12 Percent Above Last Year

The U.S. Department of Commerce announces that 4.1 million international visitors traveled to the United States in April 2008, an increase of 2 percent over April 2007. To see the Official International Trade Administration press release on the April 2008 international arrivals, it is located on the web at:https://trade.gov/press/press_releases/2008/tourism_071408.asp

Total visitation year-to-date April 2008 was up 12 percent compared to the same period 2007. International visitors spent a record $11.6 billion during the month, an increase of 21 percent from April 2007, and $45.3 billion for the year, up 23 percent.

HIGHLIGHTS: April 2008 International Arrivals1 to the United States

  • Canadian visitation grew more than 6 percent over April 2007 driven by air arrivals, up 15 percent. At the same time, land arrivals increased one percent. Year-to-date arrivals were up 17 percent.
  • Arrivals from Mexico (traveling to interior2 U.S. points) decreased 27 percent in April 2008. Air arrivals for the month were down 24 percent, and land arrivals dropped 27 percent. Overall traffic year-to-date was up 3 percent through April 2008, with air arrivals down one percent.
  • Overseas arrivals increased 8 percent in April and over 9 percent year-to-date. Visitation from overseas markets has grown for 12 consecutive months.

  • Visitation from Western Europe was up 16 percent in April 2008 and 15 percent year-to-date, accounting for 47 percent of all overseas arrivals.
  • In April 2008, Eastern European arrivals continued double-digit growth from October 2007, up 17 percent for the month and 16 percent year-to-date. Russian visitation increased 28 percent for the month.
  • Arrivals from the United Kingdom were up 11 percent in April and seven percent year-to-date. Visitors from the U.K. accounted for 40 percent of all Western European arrivals.
  • Year-to-date, French, Italian and German arrivals were up 23 percent, 22 percent and 17 percent, respectively, continuing growth trends from 2007. Visitors from Spain and Ireland were up seven percent and three percent, respectively, for the month, and 24 percent and 18 percent for the year. Arrivals from Sweden and Switzerland were up seven percent and six percent, respectively, for the month and 17 percent and 15 percent for the year. For April, visitation from the Netherlands jumped 58 percent.
  • Visitation from Asia decreased two percent in April, but increased two percent year-to-date. Japanese arrivals declined 10 percent in April and were down four percent for year-to-date. Japan accounts for 54 percent of all Asian visitors for the year. Year-to-date, arrivals from PR China, India and South Korea grew 33 percent, 11 percent and three percent, respectively. Taiwanese visitation has recovered from its first quarter declines, increasing seven percent in April 2008.
  • Arrivals from South America were up six percent in April and 17 percent year-to-date. Year-to-date, double-digit growth in visitation was observed from Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia. From South America, top arrivals are from Brazil, accounting for 31 percent of arrivals from the region. Central American arrivals decreased one percent in April, but increased nine percent year-to-date. Visitation from the Caribbean area declined 20 percent in April and decreased seven percent year-to-date. In April, there was a 45 percent decrease in arrivals from the Bahamas and a 19 percent drop from the Dominican Republic. Air arrivals from the Caribbean were down seven percent for the year.
  • Travel from Oceania decreased 0.4 percent in April, while increasing four percent year-to-date. Australia registered a one percent decline for the month and a five percent expansion year-to-date. Year-to-date, Australia accounted for 83 percent of all arrivals from Oceania.
  • Arrivals from the Middle East increased 30 percent in April and eight percent year-to-date. For April, Israel’s visitation jumped 42 percent. African visitation was up 11 percent for the month and 10 percent year-to-date.

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

TOP PORTS: Year-to-Date April 2008

Arrivals to the United States by port-of-entry are tracked on a monthly basis. The U.S. Department of Commerce has arrival 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 during 2008.

Year-to-date, overseas arrivals (excludes Canada and Mexico) were up nine percent through April 2008. Arrivals through the top 15 ports-of-entry accounted for 86 percent of all overseas arrivals, slightly higher than in 2007.

Thirteen of the top fifteen ports posted increases in arrivals for the first four months of 2008. Arrivals increased by double digits through nine of the ports. Arrivals through San Francisco were up 11 percent, moving it into 5th position ahead of Honolulu, which experienced a six percent decline in arrivals. At the same time, arrivals through Philadelphia increased 38 percent, moving it into the 15th spot.

To access top port activity, go to OTTI monthly arrival page above and scroll down the page until you see the yellow title bar entitled: 2008 Monthly Top Airports for Overseas Non-Resident Arrivals.  Click on the Excel file to view the monthly port figures.

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: https://travel.trade.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 (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 1003
Washington, D.C.  20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140, Fax: (202) 482-2887
Email: Otti@trade.gov

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 type ‘E’ treaty traders or investors and ‘I’ representatives of foreign information media into the counts to more accurately reflect business visitation.

2The U.S. ‘interior’ begins 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the U.S.-Mexico border. This distinguishes longer-haul travelers, including air passengers, from short-haul border crossers.