TI News
 Subscribe TI News Archive

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

January 23, 2009


October International Arrivals Down Two Percent When Compared to October 2007

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that 43 million international visitors traveled to the United States during the first ten months of 2008, an increase of seven percent over the same period in 2007. In October 2008, total visitation was 4 million, down two percent when compared to October 2007.

International visitors spent $120.3 billion from January through October 2008, an increase of 21 percent over the first ten months of 2007. In October 2008, visitors spent $11.9 billion, an increase of seven percent over October 2007.

HIGHLIGHTS: October 2008 International Arrivals1 to the United States

  • Year-to-date 2008, Canadian visitation grew 10 percent over the same period in 2007 driven by both land arrivals and air arrivals each of which increased 10 percent.
  • Arrivals from Mexico (traveling to interior2 U.S. points) decreased six percent during the first ten months of 2008.  Land arrivals decreased six percent and air arrivals for the year were also down six percent.
  • Overseas (excludes Canada and Mexico) arrivals increased one percent in October and eight percent year-to-date.  Visitation from overseas markets has grown for 18 consecutive months.
  • Visitation from Western Europe was up six percent for October and 15 percent year-to-date, accounting for 48 percent of overseas arrivals.

Overseas Arrivals

  • Arrivals from the United Kingdom were down five percent in October and up five percent year-to-date. Visitors from the United Kingdom accounted for 37 percent of all Western European arrivals.
  • Year-to-date, German arrivals increased 19 percent, French arrivals grew 28 percent, and Italian arrivals were up 27 percent, continuing growth trends from 2007. For the first ten months of 2008, visitation from the Netherlands grew 24 percent. At the same time, visitors from Spain and Ireland grew 33 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Arrivals from Sweden and Switzerland were up 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for the year.
  • Visitation from Asia decreased one percent year-to-date. Japanese arrivals decreased seven percent year-to-date. Japan accounts for 52 percent of all Asian visitors for the year. Year-to-date, arrivals from South Korea decreased three percent. India and PR China grew eight percent and 26 percent, respectively. Taiwanese visitation decreased four percent in the first ten months of 2008.
  • Arrivals from South America were up 13 percent year-to-date. Year-to-date, double-digit growth in visitation was observed from Brazil, Venezuela, 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 nine percent year-to-date. Air arrivals from the Caribbean were also down nine percent for the year. During the first ten months of 2008, there was a 14 percent decrease in arrivals from the Dominican Republic, a seven percent decline from Jamaica, and a 33 percent drop from the Bahamas.
  • Travel from Oceania increased four percent year-to-date. Australia registered a five percent expansion year-to-date. Year-to-date, Australia accounted for 80 percent of all arrivals from Oceania.
  • Central American arrivals for the first ten months of 2008 were flat when compared to year-to-date 2007.
  • Arrivals from the Middle East increased 11 percent year-to-date.  For the first ten months of 2008, Israel’s visitation increased eight percent.
  • Eastern European arrivals grew 15 percent year-to-date. Russian visitation increased 26 percent for the first ten months of 2008.
  • African visitation was up 16 percent year-to-date.

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

To review the 2008 quarterly analysis, for the third quarter year-to-date, visit …

TOP PORTS: Year-to-Date October 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 eight percent through October 2008. Arrivals through the top 15 ports-of-entry accounted for 83 percent of all overseas arrivals, about the same as last year.

Thirteen of the top fifteen ports posted increases in arrivals for the first ten months of 2008. Arrivals increased by double digits through seven of the ports. Arrivals through San Francisco and Chicago were up 11 percent and six percent, respectively, moving them into fifth and sixth positions ahead of Honolulu, which experienced a nine percent decline in arrivals. Atlanta, increasing 14 percent, moved into eighth place just ahead of Agana, Guam. Houston, increasing 10 percent, moved into 14th place. Arrivals through Philadelphia grew thirty-one percent as it climbed 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:

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
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.

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.