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

October 17, 2008


British bookings to the United States remained strong through the first half of 2008 and are projected to continue to grow for the year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce United Kingdom Travel Trade Barometer1.

British bookings to the United States increased from four to nine percent in the second quarter 2008 compared to 2007. The United Kingdom is projected to continue to send a growing number of visitors to the United States during the summer and the fourth quarter of 2008.

According to the trade, the exchange rate continues to be the primary driver, along with strong trade and consumer confidence for the U.S. product.

Eighty percent of all travel trade organizations reporting in the survey stated that they were very confident in recommending travel to the United States. Also, half of the trade organizations reported that U.K. consumers’ confidence level is positive in selecting the United States as their holiday destination in 2008.


  • For the second quarter 2008, the majority (80 percent) of the trade reported that bookings had increased. Independent travel continued to grow at a faster pace than package travel however, both registered growth for the quarter.
  • Bookings for the second quarter were reported to have increased four to nine percent, on average, compared to second quarter 2007.
  • Summer bookings were projected to be higher by six out of ten (60 percent) trade organizations. Nearly one third (30 percent) projected bookings to be much higher this summer compared to last year.
  • Supporting the positive projection, trade reported that current bookings for the third quarter (reported at the time of the survey) were up four to nine percent over this time last year. This is good news given in third quarter 2007 over 1.2 million United Kingdom travelers visited the United States, up nearly 12 percent over 2006 arrivals – according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.
  • At the time of the survey, trade also reported that bookings for the fourth quarter were up four to nine percent on average, compared to the same time in 2007. Again, this is good news given that in fourth quarter 2007 nearly 1.3 million United Kingdom travelers visited the United States, up nearly 14 percent over 2006 arrivals.
  • The primary deterrent for bookings was reported to be the British economy. However, trade continued to highlight that the level of promotion by other long-haul destinations is a deterrent to increased bookings.

For more information on the Travel Barometer Program, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/barometer/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) 482-4279
Email: Otti@trade.gov

1 The United Kingdom Travel Trade Barometer is a qualitative survey designed to collect input from active travel trade working in the United Kingdom to promote and/or sell travel to the United States. The Barometer program is a partnership with the Travel Industry Association and Travel Market Insights.