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TI News: An information service from the National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO)

September 30, 2014


The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that 6.0 million international visitors traveled to the United States in June 2014, a nine percent increase over June 2013. June marks the 6th consecutive month of increases in 2014 in total U.S. visits. For the first six months of 2014, visitation (34.6 million) was up nine percent compared to the same period in 2013.


Top Markets

  • The top inbound markets continued to be Canada and Mexico. Non-resident visits from Canada increased three percent while visits from Mexico increased 35 percent.
  • The United Kingdom (-3%), Japan (+1%) and the People’s Republic of China (22%) rounded out the top five.
  • In June 2014, seven of the top 10 countries posted increases in non-resident visits.
  • Non-resident visitation from three of the top 10 countries registered double-digit increases.
During the first six months of 2014, eight of the top 10 countries (sort based on June 2014) posted increases in visitation to the United States.


Top 10 Countries

Country of Residence % Change June
2014 vs. 2013
  Canada 3%
  Mexico 35%
  United Kingdom -3%
  Japan 1%
  People's Republic of China (EXCL HK) 22%
  Germany -7%
  Brazil -6%
  South Korea 5%
  Australia 1%
  France 10%

Regional Markets

  • All but one of the nine(2) major overseas regional markets recorded an increase in non-resident visits to the United States in June 2014: Western Europe (+1%), Asia (+7%), Oceania (+5%), Middle East (+1%), the Caribbean (+19%), Eastern Europe (+10%), Central America (+19%) and Africa (+9%).
  • South America recorded a decrease of two percent for the month.

Non-Resident Visits from Overseas Countries

  • In June 2014, non-resident visits from overseas countries (2.9 million) were up four percent over June 2013, accounting for 49 percent of total international visits to the United States.
  • June YTD 2014, overseas resident visits (15.8 million) were up eight percent compared to the same period of 2013.

Top Ports: YTD June 2014

  • YTD June 2014, visitation through the top 15 ports of entry accounted for 83 percent of all overseas visits-more than half of a percentage point less than last year.
  • The top three ports (New York (JFK), Miami and Los Angeles) accounted for 41 percent of all overseas arrivals-close to one percentage point more than last year.
  • Fourteen of the top 15 ports recorded increases in arrivals in the first six months of 2014. Four of these ports recorded double-digit increases.

Improvements to the 2014 I-94 Data Program
Effective April 30, 2013, DHS/CBP completed Phase 2 of the I-94 Automation project, basically eliminating the paper version of the I-94 Form, as it had done in 2010 for the I-94W, for all travelers at U.S. air and sea ports of entry.

With I-94 Automation, I-94 data quality is much improved, but coding issues have required the re-run of January-March 2014 I-94 data. Beginning in 2014, there were steep jumps in arrivals for residents of overseas countries who crossed by land into the United States. This trend peaked at the end of the first quarter of 2014. Part of the answer to why there were such large increases in land arrivals is that in the past, records for departures for land visitors were far less than for air or sea. But mainly, these large increases in land arrivals were brought about by the implementation of Phase 2 of the I-94 Automation project. During Phase 2, the I-94 paper-based document system was converted to an electronic record system for all citizens of countries requiring a visa. This new technology markedly improved the identification and tracking of the departure record of foreign national travelers after they exit the United States. Therefore, in 2014, we were receiving substantially fewer I-94 land arrival records with a missing date of U.S. departure. This greatly affected the way we processed and excluded specific I-94 records. In short, in 2014 we have found many more matches. In the past, if there was no departure record, we kept the arrival data. But, now that there are many more matches, we are removing more records.

Secondly, to take further advantage of the improvements brought about by I-94 Automation, 2014 I-94 data now reflect better conformity with UNWTO’s one-plus night definition of a traveler. An accurate determination of how many nights were spent in the United States has not been possible until the completion of Phase 2 of the I-94 Automation project. To account for the number of nights, the ‘departure’ record must be captured and matched to the arrival document. And in the past, the collection of the departure record was dependent on the rigor of airline gate agents and the ability of each departing visitor to tender their I-94 departure document. Evidence has indicated that a significant number of departure records were not turned in. But with the I-94 Automation project complete at air and sea ports, it is possible to now be more inclusive of one night stays given that the arrival-departure record match is now more complete and accurate.

NTTO apologizes for any inconvenience these data revisions have created. It is our objective to report the monthly I-94 visitation data in a consistent and accurate format to support the informational needs of the travel industry.

Improved 2014 Summary of International Travel to the United States (I-94 Report)
In 2014, NTTO completed the largest upgrade since 1996 to the Summary of International Travel to the United States report. 2014 improvements include Port of Entry (All Modes) Tables that now include data for seven new U.S. ports and arrivals data for a number of additional overseas countries. The Port of Entry (Air Only) Tables have been enhanced to now include five new U.S. ports, two new regions and arrivals data for an increased number of overseas countries.

The Summary report now has 35 tables highlighting:

  • Month and YTD of arrivals
  • Type of visa (business, pleasure, student)
  • Mode of transportation (air, land, sea)
  • Age of traveler (7 age groupings, mean and median)
  • First Intended Address in the U.S. (or Address while in the U.S.) (U.S. state)
  • U.S. port of entry (main gateway  ports - all modes and air-only)
  • Select percentage change comparisons year-over-year

NTTO believes that the 2014 non-resident arrivals data are the most accurate ever reported. To purchase a subscription to I-94 data, please complete the order form by visiting https://travel.trade.gov/research/reports/i94/index.html.

Access to NTTO Data
The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) collect, analyze and disseminate international travel and tourism statistics from the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. NTTO produces visitation data tables, including a more detailed region, country and port analyses. To access these data, you are encouraged to visit the NTTO monthly arrivals page at https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2014-I-001/index.html.

National Travel and Tourism Strategy
In 2012, a Task Force on Travel Competitiveness, chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior, developed the National Travel and Tourism Strategy to promote domestic and international opportunities throughout the United States and increase the U.S. market share of worldwide travel. The Tourism Policy Council, chaired by the Department of Commerce, is leading the implementation of the National Strategy through inter-agency working groups, including a Research Working Group chaired by the National Travel and Tourism Office. The I-94 Program supports the National Strategy’s call for expanded metrics on international travel to the United States. I-94 automation further supports this initiative as it greatly improves the measurement of international visitation data to the United States. To learn more about the National Strategy, you are encouraged to visit https://travel.trade.gov/pdf/national-travel-and-tourism-strategy.pdf. For more information on I-94 automation, please visit www.cbp.gov.

(1) Throughout this report percent changes posted for international visitation to the United States for June 2014 were calculated by comparing data in June 2014 to data in June 2013. Also, percent changes posted for year to date 2014 were calculated by comparing data for January - June 2014 to data for January - June 2013.

(2) The nine major overseas regions are Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.