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Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>

International Travel to the U.S. for June, Second Quarter, and First Half of 2003

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

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

September 24, 2003

International Travel to the U.S. for June, Second Quarter, and First Half of 2003

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

Total international arrivals to the U.S. in 2003 began on a positive note. However, a sluggish global economy, the Iraqi War, SARS, and airline strife resulted in five months of contraction starting in February through the first half of 2003.

- June 2003 arrivals contracted 7 percent to 2,717,481 and the second quarter declined by 9 percent, compared to a year ago. Arrivals to the U.S. through the first half of 2003 contracted 8 percent to 15,145,636 arrivals, compared to arrivals for the first half of 2002.

- Overseas arrivals also contracted – in June 2003 overseas arrivals declined 13 percent, to register 1,414,428 arrivals. The second quarter arrivals dropped by 14 percent to 4 million arrivals, and the first half of 2003 arrivals declined to 7.8 million to register a 12 percent decline when compared to last year.

- The strongest major world region in June was Western Europe (down 2%). Asian arrivals continued to contract in June (down 28%) after declining by 35 percent in May and 39 percent in April 2003, compared to a year ago.

- Japan registered the largest drop in arrivals for the top markets. In June arrivals dropped 33 percent to 201,672 arrivals, compared to June 2002. Second quarter arrivals from Japan contracted 37 percent and for the first half of 2003 arrivals dropped 22 percent, compared to 2002.

- 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. All of these markets, other than Canada, continued to register a decline in travel to the U.S. through June 2003. Canada was the only key SARS market that did not register a significant decline. Also noteworthy, Singapore’s rate of contraction has tailed off compared to the previous months.

Key 2003 Arrivals   Percent Change 2003/2002
April May June Second
April May June Second


326,143 365,918 943,407 2,127,611 -39.1% -35.1% -27.7% -33.6% -21.0%
TAIWAN 9,451 10,091 17,450 36,992 97,244 -46.8% -62.2% -45.5% -51.6% -32.4%
CHINA, PRC 7,035 6,441 8,610 22,086 63,980 -60.6% -69.4% -59.2% -63.2% -42.1%
SINGAPORE 2,715 5,588 8,795 17,098 35,228 -61.2% -49.1% -12.3% -39.0% -25.3%
CANADA 980,655 1,005,147 1,006,328 2,992,095 5,771,295 -11.1% -8.7% 0.0% -7.0% -4.0%

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, August 2003

- The impact of SARS is evident, however, since each of these markets also registered declines in March and most registered declines in February (prior to the SARS breakout) indicating that the drop in arrivals was a combination of economic, political, and SARS-related concerns that dissuaded travelers.

- The impact on visitor arrivals from SARS was not revealed in every top market in June. Arrivals from the United Kingdom increased 2 percent to 297,853 arrivals in June 2003, compared to June 2002. This marked the third month in a row that UK arrivals increased. Arrivals were up 2 percent year-to-date and up 6 percent for second quarter 2003, compared to 2002.

- South Korea and India also registered a 2 percent increase in arrivals in June 2003, compared to 2002. However, South Korea was down 8 percent for second quarter 2003 and 5 percent year-to-date. Arrivals from India were down 2 percent for the second quarter and up 1 percent through the first half of 2003. The only other top 20 markets to post growth for the second quarter of 2003 were the Bahamas and Israel. Both were up 1 percent.

- Arrivals from Mexico were flat for June 2003 after two months of growth. The second quarter registered a 19 percent increase in arrivals, while year-to-date arrivals contracted 5 percent.

- German arrivals in June contracted 7 percent for the second month in a row. Arrivals for the second quarter were down 3 percent and year-to-date German arrivals were down 4 percent compared to 2002.

- 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.


- Arrivals at the top 15 ports-of-entry for January-June 2003 show that while total overseas arrivals for the first six months were down 12 percent, the declines to the country were not the same when viewed at the port level (overseas excludes Canada and Mexico).

- New York’s JFK airport, Chicago, Newark, Washington Dulles, Detroit, and Boston all registered declines that were less than the national average. Orlando and Sanford Florida Airports were the only top 15 airports that did not post declines in arrivals for the half of 2003. Agana, Guam continued to register the largest contraction, down 38 percent. The top three ports-of-entry represent 37 percent of all overseas arrivals to the country. The top 15 ports totaled 85 percent of all overseas arrivals for the January-June 2003 time frame.


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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