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TInews Archive #20031117.html
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Subject: August 2003 International Arrivals to the U.S. - Data Shows Signs of Recovery

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

November 17, 2003

August 2003 International Arrivals to the U.S. - Data Shows Signs of Recovery

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

International travel to the U.S., while still in a period of contraction, continues to recover based on August data.

Three million nine hundred thousand international tourists arrived in the U.S. during August. Although this was down 2.5 percent from last year, August had the smallest monthly decline since February 2003. Total year-to-date arrivals of 22.8 million were down 6.5 percent through August, but were up from last month’s (July) year-to-date decline of 7.3 percent. Salient regional and top market results are as follows:

  • Total Overseas (excluding Canada and Mexico) arrivals declined 4.9 percent in August 2003 to 1.8 million, up from the 5.9 percent decline in July. Year-to-date 2003 arrivals of 11.4 million were down 9.6 percent.
  • Western Europe, up 0.9 percent, had the strongest results among the major world regions. Asian arrivals continued to decline, at a lesser rate, in August, down 9.2 percent, after declining 12 percent in July, 28 percent in June and 35 percent in May 2003, compared to last year.
  • The effect of SARS is lessening. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the countries that suffered the worst exposure to the SARS outbreak are: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Canada. While travel to the U.S. from these countries declined through August 2003 the rate of decline has notably tapered off. In fact, among the four SARS related markets Canada increased slightly in August and Singapore grew in July.
2003 Arrivals   Percent Change 2003/2002
Key SARS Markets April May June July Aug YTD   April May June July Aug YTD
Asia 251,346 326,143 365,918 455,902 547,978 3,131,491   -39.1 -35.1 -27.7 -12.3 -9.2 -17.9
Taiwan 9,451 10,091 17,450 31,270 32,492 161,006   -46.8 -62.2 -45.5 -9.3 -3.1 -24.0
China (PRC/HKG) 11,478 12,539 17,188 27,057 34,492 172,394   -56.1 -63.1 -50.2 -28.4 -16.5 -32.9
Singapore 2,715 5,588 8,795 7,782 7,952 50,962   -61.2 -49.1 -12.3 6.0 -4.1 -18.9
Canada 980,631 1,005,136 1,006,328 1,446,191 1,683,152 8,900,991   -11.0 -8.7 -0.2 -4.6 0.7 -3.2
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, November 2003
  • While the impact of SARS is evident in these markets, each registered declines prior to the SARS breakout, in February and March. This indicates that a combination of economic, political, and SARS-related concerns dissuaded travelers, contributing to the decline in arrivals from these countries. The OTTI will continue to monitor and report on the arrivals for the key SARS markets to help discern the long-term impact.
  • Among the top markets, Japan registered the largest drop, of 12.4 percent, with 330,588 visitors. The monthly decline in Japanese tourists has been lessening from July and June that decreased by 17 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
  • Arrivals from the United Kingdom were flat, year-over-year, with 348,382 visitors. Year-to-date arrivals from the U.K. were up 2 percent.
  • Mexican arrivals declined 4.4 percent in August 2003 after having increased in July. Year-to-date arrivals are down 3 percent.
  • German arrivals grew by 3.6 percent in August and negative 2.4 percent year-to-date. August recorded the first positive growth in the German market since April.
  • Italy and Spain increased 19.7 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively, in August 2003. On a year-to-date basis arrivals for Italy were down 3.5 percent and for Spain up slightly (0.5 percent). The only other top 20 overseas markets to show growth for August 2003 were South Korea, 3.2 percent, India, 1.1 percent and Brazil, 1.7 percent.

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

Top Ports January-August 2003

  • Arrivals at the top 15 ports-of-entry accounted for 85 percent of all overseas arrivals in the January-August 2003 time frame. Total overseas arrivals year-to-date were down 9.6 percent approximating the decline at the port level ('Overseas' excludes Canada and Mexico). The top three ports-of-entry (New York - JFK, Miami and Los Angeles) 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 of the top 15 airports that posted increases in arrivals year-to-date 2003. Agana, Guam continued to register the largest contraction, 34 percent.
  • New York JFK held on as the leading port of entry year-over-year, maintaining its lead over Miami for the last three months. Other notable shifts include Chicago moving ahead of San Francisco into position five, and Washington D.C. displacing Atlanta for position nine. Detroit moved up to position thirteen by displacing both Sanford and Houston


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, quarterly or annual international arrival reports for 2002 and 2003, (available in print and/or Excel) 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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