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

May 17, 2010



The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that 3.5 million international visitors traveled to the United States in February 2010, an increase of 22 percent over February 2009. February 2010 registered the fifth straight month of increases in U.S. arrivals. For the first two months of 2010, visitation was up 15 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

International visitors spent $10.5 billion in February 2010, three percent more than in February 2009. February 2010 marks the first increase in monthly U.S. travel and tourism-related exports since 2008.


Top 20 Countries
In February 2010, 17 of the top 20 countries posted increases in visitation to the United States. Visitation from 12 of the top 20 countries registered double-digit increases: Mexico, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong, Australia, Italy, Argentina, India, Spain, Taiwan, and Switzerland.

International Arrivals to United States for February 2010 and Year to Date (YTD) 2010

  • Canada visitation (1.2 million) was up eight percent in February. Visits (2.5 million) increased 11 percent YTD.
    • In February 2010, air arrivals (603,000) were up nine percent and land arrivals (579,000) were up seven percent.
    • YTD, air arrivals (1.2 million) were up 10 percent and land arrivals (1.2 million) were up 11 percent.
  • Mexico visitation (704,000) was up 114 percent for the month. Visits (1.1 million) increased 53 percent YTD.
    • Air arrivals (91,000) were up 15 percent for the month and land arrivals (612,000) were up 147 percent. The Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security will continue to monitor the surge in Mexico land arrivals.
    • YTD, air arrivals (192,000) were up 11 percent and land arrivals (925,000) were up 66 percent.
  • For the month, overseas visitation (1.6 million) was up 11 percent over February 2009. YTD, overseas visits (3.3 million) were up 10 percent.
  • Visitation from Western Europe increased two percent for the month and YTD.
    • Visitation from 16 Western European markets was up for the month. Fifteen markets were up YTD.
    • Eight of the top 10 markets registered increases in February (Germany +3%, France +3%, Italy +11%, Netherlands +7%, Spain +11%, Sweden +5%, Switzerland +21%, and Norway +23%).
    • Visits from the United Kingdom dropped two percent in February and dropped three percent YTD. This was the smallest decline in visits from the United Kingdom since September 2008.
  • Eastern Europe visits increased one percent for the month but was flat YTD.
  • Visitation from Asia increased 27 percent in February and was up 19 percent YTD.
    • Nine of the top 10 markets registered increases in February (Japan +13%, South Korea +60%, the People’s Republic of China +90%, India +18%, Taiwan +94%, Hong Kong +68%, the Philippines +5%, Singapore +28%, and Malaysia +8%).
  • Visits from South America increased 19 percent for the month and grew 18 percent YTD.
    • In February 2010, visits from Brazil, Argentina and Colombia were up 40 percent, 11 percent and 17 percent, respectively. U.S. visitation from Venezuela decreased three percent for the month.
    • YTD, visits from Brazil increased 34 percent, visits from Argentina grew 11 percent, and visits from Colombia were up 19 percent. YTD, visits from Venezuela dropped six percent.
  • Visits from Central America were flat for the month but increased four percent YTD.
  • Visitation from the Caribbean decreased seven percent in February and was flat for the year.
    • Visits from the Dominican Republic, the region’s top market, accounting for 20 percent of all visits, decreased one percent in February 2010.
    • YTD visits from the Dominican Republic increased eight percent.
  • Oceania visitation was up 32 percent in February and increased 24 percent YTD.
    • Australia accounted for 86 percent of all visits from the region in February 2010. Visits from Australia increased 37 percent for the month and grew 28 percent YTD.
  • Visitation from the Middle East increased seven percent in February and was up 12 percent YTD.
    • Israel’s visitation decreased one percent in February but grew three percent YTD.
  • Africa visitation grew nine percent in February 2010 and increased five percent YTD.

Top Ports
In February 2010, visitation through the top 15 ports of entry accounted for 85 percent of all overseas visits-two percentage points lower than last year. The top three ports (Miami, New York JFK, and Los Angeles) accounted for 39 percent of all overseas arrivals, one percentage point below February 2009. Thirteen of the top 15 ports posted increases in arrivals in February 2010. Five of these ports posted double-digit increases. This upturn in the total of overseas arrivals reverses the majority of the declines registered in February 2009.

National Export Initiative
To improve conditions that directly affect the private sector’s ability to export, on March 11, 2010 President Obama created the National Export Initiative (NEI). The automation of the arrival/departure form [CBP Form I-94W] for Visa Waiver Program travelers supports this initiative as the automated form will greatly improve the measurement and timely release of international arrival data to the United States. The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) is a member of the I-94W Elimination Project Inter-agency Working Group and will work to ensure that I-94 international arrival data for visitors from visa-waiver countries will continue to be processed in a seamless fashion after the paper form is discontinued. To learn more about the NEI, you are encouraged to visit <https://www.trade.gov/nei/index.asp>.

Manufacturing and Services’ Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) collects, analyzes and disseminates international travel and tourism statistics from the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. OTTI produces visitation data tables, including a business and pleasure arrivals rate of change analysis and a more detailed region, country and port analyses. To learn more, you are encouraged to visit: <https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2010-I-001/index.html>.