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Date: Thurs, 17 April 2003
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Subject: 2002 Year End International Arrivals to the United States

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

An information service from Tourism Industries
U.S. International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

April 17, 2003

2002 Year End International Arrivals to the United States

Contact: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
E-mail: otti@trade.gov
Web: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov
Phone: (202) 482-0140, Fax: (202) 482-2887

The U.S. Department of Commerce today released the 2002 international arrivals to the United States. This is one of the earliest release dates ever for the international year-end arrivals data, and improvement for the industry receiving information on the markets on a timelier basis.

The level of international visitors declined 7 percent to 41.9 million compared to the 44.9 million in 2001. The last four months of 2002 showed positive growth compared to the last four months of 2001, gaining some momentum (up 22%). The level of international arrivals had already shown underperformance through August 2002 compared to the same period for 2001 (down 18%).

“This just shows the challenge we have to regain our valuable international traveler base which reportedly contributed $88 billion in export value for the country in 2002”, said Deputy Assistant Secretary Douglas B. Baker for Service Industries, Tourism & Finance. “This industry builds the bridges between cultures, and fosters friendships and understanding between peoples, so it is important to strengthen our efforts in the international markets.”

Highlights of 2002 International Arrivals to the United States

  • Mexico was one of only two markets (South Korea) to register growth in arrivals in 2002. Total visitation from Mexico grew 3 percent to register 9.8 million in 2002, compared to 9.6 million in 2001. Most of this growth came from land traffic, as air arrivals from Mexico were down 5 percent with 1.4 million air arrivals, compared to 1.5 million Mexican air travelers in 2001.

  • In 2002 Canadian visitation levels were nearly 13 million, 4 percent below the 13.5 million Canadians the U.S. hosted in 2001. Arrivals by air declined at a faster pace (down 11%), registering 4.1 million air arrivals in 2002, compared to 4.6 million air arrivals in 2001.

  • Total overseas arrivals in 2002 registered 19.1 million, 12 percent down from the 21.8 million in 2001. Trends of travelers staying closer to home as well as selecting alternative destinations contributed to this overall decline (overseas excludes Mexico and Canada).

  • South Korea, the fifth top overseas market, was the only other top market besides Mexico to show growth in their visitation level compared to 2001, up 3 percent to 638,697 versus 617,892 in 2001.

  • The UK maintained its position as the top overseas market in 2002. The level of visitation was 3.8 million, a decrease of 7 percent from the 4.1 million in 2001.

  • The second top market, Japan, also declined in 2002 to 3.6 million visitors compared to 4.1 million for 2001 (down 11%).

  • German visitors registered 1.2 million in 2002, nine percent below the 1.3 million in 2001.

  • The fourth top overseas market, France, registered 734,260 visitors to the U.S. in 2002, compared to 875,854 in 2001 (down 16%).

To see the year end 2002 arrivals and spending tables, visit the OTTI web site inbound overview page at: https://travel.trade.gov/outreachpages/inbound.general_information.inbound_overview.html

There are numerous tables posted with time line data for arrivals and spending by international travelers to the United States.

To access the 2002 monthly arrivals and analysis go to: https://travel.trade.gov/research/monthly/arrivals/index.html


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Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 2073
Washington, D.C. 20230
(202) 482-0140, fax: (202) 482-2887
e-mail: otti@trade.gov

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