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TInews Archive #20031002.html
Date: Thur, 2 Oct 2003
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Subject: International Travel to the U.S. for July, and Year-to-date 2003

=== TINEWS ===================================

October 2, 2003

International Travel to the U.S. for July, and Year-to-date 2003

Total international arrivals to the U.S. have been in a period of contraction for the last six months (February through July 2003) after starting on a positive note in January. Contributing factors have been a sluggish global economy, the Iraqi War, SARS, and a challenging airline environment.

  • July 2003 total international arrivals declined 4 percent, to 3.8 million, which was the smallest monthly decline since February. Total Arrivals to the U.S., year-to-date, contracted 7 percent to nearly 19 million.

  • Total Overseas (excluding Canada and Mexico) Arrivals declined 6 percent in July 2003 to 1.8 million. Year-to-date 2003 arrivals of 9.6 million were down 11 percent, year-over-year. July results contributed to a lessening in the year-to-date decline.

  • The strongest major world region in July was Western Europe (down 1%). Asian arrivals continued to decline, but at a lesser rate, in July (down 12%) after declining by 28 percent in June, 35 percent in May and 39 percent in April 2003, compared to last year.

  • Japan registered the largest drop in arrivals among the top markets. July arrivals dropped 17 percent, year-over-year to 253,542. This also represents a lessening in the rate of monthly declines with June and May having decreased by 33 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the following countries suffered the worst exposure to the SARS outbreak: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Canada. While travel to the U.S. declined through July 2003 the rate of market decline notably tapered off in July. Among the four SARS related markets tracked Canada registered the smallest decline. Also noteworthy, Singapore's rate of contraction began to tail off in June and displayed growth in July.

2003 Arrivals   Percent Change 2003/2002
April May June July YTD   April May June July YTD
Asia 251,346 326,143 365,918 455,902 2,583,513   -39.10% -35.10% -27.70% -12.30% -19.60%
Taiwan 9,451 10,091 17,450 36,992 128,514   -46.80% -62.20% -45.50% -9.30% -27.90%
11,478 12,539 17,188 27,057 138,330   -56.10% -63.10% -50.20% -28.40% -36.00%
Singapore 2,715 5,588 8,795 7,782 43,010   -61.20% -49.10% -12.30% 6.00% -21.00%
Canada 980,631 1,005,136 1,006,328 1,446,191 7,217,486   -11.10% -8.70% 0.00% -4.60% -4.10%

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, September 2003
  • The impact of SARS is evident in these markets. However, each of these markets also registered declines prior to the SARS breakout, in March and most in February. This indicates that it was a combination of economic, political, and SARS-related concerns that dissuaded travelers and contributed to the decline in arrivals from these countries.

  • Arrivals from other top markets in July included the United Kingdom which increased 4 percent, year-over-year, to 349,289 arrivals. This marked the fourth month in a row that UK arrivals increased. Arrivals were up 2 percent year-to-date.

  • Mexican arrivals were up 3 percent for July 2003 following a flat performance in June. Year-to-date arrivals were down 3 percent a lessening the earlier year-to-date declines in this market.

  • German arrivals contracted 1 percent in July and 3 percent year-to-date. July marked an improvement over June and May when both were down 7 percent.

  • South Korea and the Netherlands also registered 6 percent and 7 percent increases, respectively, in July 2003 arrivals. On a year-to-date basis South Korea was down 3 percent with the Netherlands down 4 percent. Arrivals from India were up 5 percent for July and up 2 percent year-to-date 2003. The only other of the top 20 overseas markets to post growth for July 2003 was Sweden, up 11%. Australia arrivals were flat.

  • To access the monthly arrivals data that provides arrival totals and percent change for 11 world regions and 19 countries, go to: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2003-I-001/index.html

  • The OTTI will continue to monitor and report on the arrivals for the key SARS markets to help discern the impact during and after the breakout.
Top Ports January-July 2003
  • Arrivals at the top 15 ports-of-entry totaled 85 percent of all overseas arrivals for the January-July 2003 time frame. Total overseas arrivals year-to-date were down 11 percent approximating the decline at the port level ('Overseas' excludes Canada and Mexico). The top three ports-of-entry accounted for 38 percent of all overseas arrivals to the U.S.

  • New York's JFK Airport, Chicago O'Hare, Newark, Washington Dulles, Detroit, and Boston all registered declines less than the national average. Orlando and Sanford Florida Airports were the only top 15 airports that posted an increase in arrivals for year-to-date 2003. Agana, Guam continued to register the largest contraction, 36 percent.

  • New York JFK has become the leading port of entry year-over-year, edging past Miami for the last two months. Other notable shifts include Chicago #5 moving ahead of San Francisco and Washington D.C. #9 displacing Atlanta. Boston moves to #12, ahead of Detroit and Houston. Sanford remains at #15 after having displaced Dallas-Ft Worth from the top 15 ports in June.


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 over 40 ports-of-entry. Numerous breakouts are provided by world region and country for the port tables as well. To learn more about this program, please go to: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i94/index.html

If you would like to purchase the monthly international arrival reports for 2002 and 2003, please go to: https://travel.trade.gov/research/reports/i94/upcoming/index.html

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Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 7025
Washington, D.C. 20230
(202) 482-0140, fax: (202) 482-2887
e-mail: otti@trade.gov

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