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Date: Wed, 16 October 2002
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>

U.S. Department of Commerce Releases New Forecast of International Travel to the United States

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

An information service from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
U.S. International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce


U.S. Department of Commerce Releases New Forecast of International Travel to the United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce released its latest Forecast of International Travel to the United States during the Marketing Outlook Forum in Hollywood, Florida on Saturday, October 12, 2002. Helen Marano, Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, presented the forecast during the Forum's Advanced Outlook on International Travel to the U.S. The Power Point version of this presentation will be available on TInet next week.

The following is the official Department of Commerce Press Release from the Outlook Forum:
Note: to view the latest forecast tables, please visit:
October 12, 2002


2002 Travel Holds Steady, Improvements Seen Well into 2006

The Commerce Department today released its semi-annual Forecast of International Travel to the U.S. that shows the number of international travelers to the U.S. held steady for 2002, and will return to pre-Sept 11th levels by 2004. In fact, a record 60 million international visitors are expected to travel to the U.S. by 2006, a 32 percent increase over 2001.

International visitation to the U.S. dropped 11 percent in 2001 following the September 11 attacks. While 2002 is projected to finish out even with 2001, an 8 percent growth is projected in both 2003 and 2004. Moreover, growth is expected to continue into the long-term, with a 7 percent growth forecast for 2005 and 2006.


  • Key markets responsible for an improved long-term forecast are our NAFTA trading partners, Canada and Mexico, which are expected to grow by 32 and 40 percent respectively, through 2006.

  • Europe: Visitors from Europe are expected to return noticeably by 2004, with the UK maintaining its position as the top overseas market. While visitor levels from Europe are projected to remain flat in 2002, an overall growth of 33 percent is expected by 2006. This will place Europe ahead of its peak 2000 level with 13 million total visitors to the U.S. The United Kingdom will see steady growth, especially in 2003. This supports the peak forecast of nearly 5.6 million British travelers by 2006. Germany is expected to remain weak through 2002; this market is projected to strengthen 31 percent by 2006 over the 2001 level, just short of its 2000 level. France will remain the fourth largest overseas market, generating over 1.2 million visitors by 2006, a 33 percent increase over 2001.

  • Asia: Asia's recovery will be slow through 2006, with only 26 percent growth through the forecast period. The impact of slower growth from Japanese travelers impacts this regional forecast. Even so, the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Secretary Evans in April 2002 to support a Tourism Export Expansion Initiative between the United States and Japan should help secure the 21 percent growth in Japanese visitors by 2006. The Republic of Korea is the star performer in this region, showing high short-term and long-term increases. Korea is expected to top its previous peak with 915,000 visitors by 2006, up 46 percent from 2001.

  • South America: South America's relatively slight 13 percent growth over the forecast period is due primarily to volatile economic and political conditions in its top markets, with the notable exception of Brazil. By 2003, Brazil is forecasted to become the sixth largest overseas source market for the U.S. The longer term forecast for Brazil shows it will grow by 27 percent between 2001 and 2006. Meanwhile, Argentina is forecasted to decline by 36 percent, struggling to recover an estimated 43 percent loss in 2002. This will drop Argentina from the tenth largest overseas market to the twenty-first. Venezuela is expected to see a 17 percent increase over the forecast period, compared to 2001.
For more information on the international travel market to the U.S., visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/f-2000-99-001/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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