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Date: Wed, 21 April 2004
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Subject: January 2004 International Arrivals to the U.S. – Up Beat Start for the Year

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

April 21, 2004

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

January 2004 International Arrivals to the U.S. – Up Beat Start for the Year

The U.S. welcomed 2.4 million international visitors in January, an almost two percent increase over January 2003, which previously witnessed a five percent growth from 2002. This also marked the fourth consecutive month of positive growth, continuing from the 4th quarter 2003.

2004 intl arrivals


Most regions improved again in January 2004, as follows:

  • Overseas arrivals (not including Canada and Mexico) were up five percent, totaling 1.3 million, with major contributions from Western Europe, Asia and Oceania.
  • Western Europe was up eight percent for the month, due to significant growth in German visitation and arrivals from the United Kingdom, Sweden and Spain.
  • Asian visitation grew over six percent in January with strong growth coming from Japan, South Korea and India.
  • Other overseas regions experiencing growth were: Eastern Europe, up three percent, Oceania, up almost 13 percent and the Caribbean, up one percent. South and Central America, however, declined by six and 10 percent, respectively. Arrivals from the Middle East dropped by one percent and arrivals from Africa dropped by four percent.
  • North American (Canada and Mexico) visitation was mixed with Canadian visitation relatively flat and Mexican arrivals down seven percent.
  • Latin American visitation was down, with South and Central America declining by six and 10 percent, respectively. Arrivals from the Caribbean were up by one percent.
  • The January 5, 2004 U.S. Department of Homeland Security implementation of the US–VISIT border management program at major U.S. ports of entry did not appear to deter travel from non-Visa Waiver country travelers. Biometric identifiers were captured from those visitors who required a visa to enter the U.S. In fact, January arrivals increased from many non-Visa Waiver countries including Brazil, up 10 percent, India, South Korea, both up six percent and Malaysia, up seven percent.

Salient top market results are as follows:

  • Canadian arrivals of 859,000, were down by nearly one percent in January, a slight up-tick from its two percent drop in December.
  • Arrivals from Mexico (217,000 traveling to interior U.S. points) fell by over seven percent for the month, down more than its drop in December 2003.
  • United Kingdom visitation increased by 11 percent in January, with 232,000 arrivals, one of the strongest monthly performances among major countries. This marked the 11th monthly increase over the last thirteen months.
  • German visitors to the U.S., totaling 67,000, increased by eight percent for the month following a solid 4th quarter performance.
  • Japanese visitors totaled 285,000, up nine percent in January, also following a positive 4th quarter.
  • In January, double-digit growth also occurred in travel originating from Australia and Brazil, with increases of 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Arrivals from Sweden also increased by 10 percent.
  • Other top European growth markets in January included France, registering a two percent increase, with three consecutive months of growth. Italy notched up again for the sixth straight month, this time by four percent. Switzerland grew by five percent, marking the third monthly increase. The Netherlands and Spain increased by seven and nine percent, respectively. For Spain, January was the fifth consecutive month of positive growth, showing an increase of nine percent.
  • Contributions from other Asian markets included South Korea arrivals increasing by six percent. Also visitation from the ROC (Taiwan) improved by three percent. Arrivals from the PRC/Hong Kong, however, decreased by two percent.
  • Notable exceptions to the South American decline in arrivals were Brazil, up 15 percent, and Argentina, up four percent.

Top Ports - January 2004

  • Arrivals at the top 15 ports of entry increased to 87 percent of all overseas arrivals in January 2004 compared to 85 percent for all of 2003. Total overseas arrivals for January, as reported above, were up five percent approximating the increase at the top port level. The top three ports of entry (Miami, New York - JFK and Los Angeles) accounted for 39 percent of all overseas arrivals to the U.S. This was up from 37 percent for all of 2003.
  • Ten of the top fifteen airports posted increased arrivals. The exceptions were Honolulu, down seven percent; Washington, DC, down one percent; Houston, down two percent; Detroit, down 19 percent, and Boston, down four percent.
  • Agana, Guam and Orlando registered the largest increases, at 79 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
  • Miami held on as the leading port of entry for January. Agana jumped from eighth to fifth, ahead of San Francisco. Orlando displaced Detroit from the 11th spot and Dallas moved ahead of Boston to the 14th spot.

To access top port activity, go to: https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2004-I-001/port_entry04.html

To access the monthly arrivals tables for the 11 world regions and 19 countries of residence, please go to: http://ti-dev.eainet.com/view/m-2004-I-001/index.html


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 arrivals reports for 2003 and 2004, 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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