TI News: An information service from Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)
September 11, 2008
INTERNATIONAL VISITATION UP 11 PERCENT IN FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2008
SPENDING AT $69.9 BILLION FOR THE YEAR
June Arrivals 8 Percent Above June 2007
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that 23.9 million international visitors traveled to the United States during the first six months of 2008, an increase of 11 percent over the same period in 2007. In June 2008, total visitation was 4.0 million, an increase of 8 percent over June 2007.
International visitors spent $69.9 billion from January through June 2008, an increase of 23 percent over the first half of 2007. In June 2008, visitors spent $12.2 billion, an increase of 24 percent over June 2007.
The Official International Trade Administration press release on the June 2008 international arrivals is located on the web at: http://trade.gov/press/press_releases/2008/tourism_091008.asp
HIGHLIGHTS: June 2008 International Arrivals1 to the United States
- Year-to-date 2008, Canadian visitation grew 17 percent over the same period in 2007 driven by land arrivals, up 19 percent. At the same time, air arrivals increased 13 percent.
- Arrivals from Mexico (traveling to interior2 U.S. points) increased one percent during the first six months of 2008. Land arrivals increased three percent and air arrivals for the year were down two percent.
- Overseas arrivals increased 10 percent year-to-date. Visitation from overseas markets has grown for 14 consecutive months.
- Visitation from Western Europe was up 17 percent year-to-date, accounting for 47 percent of arrivals.
- Arrivals from the United Kingdom were up 8 percent in June and eight percent year-to-date. Visitors from the United Kingdom accounted for 36 percent of all Western European arrivals.
- Year-to-date, German arrivals increased 21 percent, French arrivals grew 25 percent, and Italian arrivals were up 26 percent, continuing growth trends from 2007. For the first six months of 2008, visitation from the Netherlands grew 30 percent. At the same time, visitors from Spain and Ireland grew 31 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Arrivals from Sweden and Switzerland were up 20 percent and 16 percent, respectively, for the year.
- Visitation from Asia increased two percent year-to-date. Japanese arrivals decreased three percent year-to-date. Japan accounts for 52 percent of all Asian visitors for the year. Year-to-date, arrivals from South Korea, India and PR China, grew one percent, 11 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Taiwanese visitation decreased two percent in the first six months of 2008.
- Arrivals from South America were up 15 percent year-to-date. Year-to-date, double-digit growth in visitation was observed from Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia, and Argentina. From South America, top arrivals were from Brazil, accounting for 30 percent of arrivals from the region.
- Visitation from the Caribbean area decreased seven percent year-to-date. During the first six months of 2008, there was a nine percent decrease in arrivals from the Dominican Republic and a 41 percent drop from the Bahamas. Air arrivals from the Caribbean were down seven percent for the year.
- Travel from Oceania increased four percent year-to-date. Australia registered a five percent expansion year-to-date. Year-to-date, Australia accounted for 82 percent of all arrivals from Oceania.
- Central American arrivals increased three percent year-to-date.
- Arrivals from the Middle East increased nine percent year-to-date. For the first six months of 2008, Israel’s visitation increased five percent.
- Eastern European arrivals grew 14 percent year-to-date. Russian visitation increased 26 percent for the first six months of 2008.
- African visitation was up 14 percent year-to-date.
To access the 2008 monthly arrivals data for world regions and top markets, visit
TOP PORTS: Year-to-Date June 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 (excluding Canada and Mexico) were up 10 percent through June 2008. Arrivals through the top 15 ports-of-entry accounted for 85 percent of all overseas arrivals.
Thirteen of the top fifteen ports posted increases in arrivals for the first six months of 2008. Arrivals increased by double digits through nine of the ports. Arrivals through San Francisco were up 12 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 34 percent, moving it into the 15th spot. New York, the top port, accounted for more than 16 percent of overseas arrivals, up from 15 percent in the first half of 2007.
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:
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 N.W., Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Fax: (202) 482-2887
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.
2 The 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.