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Date: Wed, 5 May 2004
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Subject: February 2004 International Arrivals to the U.S. – Double Digit Growth, ALL Regions Positive

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

May 5, 2004

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

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

February 2004 International Arrivals to the U.S. – Double Digit Growth, ALL Regions Positive

The U.S. welcomed 2.5 million international visitors in February, a 13 percent increase over February 2003 and an 11 percent increase from 2002. This also marked the fifth consecutive month of positive growth, continuing from the 4th quarter 2003. February 2004 year-to-date was up seven percent.



All regions showed positive growth in February 2004, as follows:

  • Overseas arrivals (not including Canada and Mexico) were up 11 percent, totaling 1.4 million, with positive contributions coming from all regions. February year-to-date overseas arrivals were up eight percent.
  • Western Europe was up 10 percent for the month, due to significant growth in arrivals from all countries.
  • Asian visitation also grew 11 percent in February with strong growth coming from all countries.
  • Latin American visitation, overall, was up for the first time since 2002, with South and Central America having increased by 16 and six percent, respectively. Arrivals from the Caribbean were up by 17 percent.
  • Oceania jumped by 24 percent due to an increase in Australia visitation.
  • Other overseas regions experiencing growth were: Eastern Europe, up 10 percent, Middle East up three percent and arrivals from Africa up by four percent.
  • North American (Canada and Mexico) visitation was up with Canadian visitation having increased by 15 percent and Mexican arrivals up almost 17 percent.
  • The January 5, 2004 U.S. Department of Homeland Security implementation of the US–VISIT border management program (Biometric identifiers were captured from those visitors who required a visa to enter the U.S.), at major U.S. ports of entry, again did not appear to deter travel from non-Visa Waiver country travelers. In fact, February arrivals from the non-Visa Waiver countries were up 11 percent, on par with the overall growth in overseas arrivals. In particular, Brazil was up 26 percent, India, up 18 percent, South Korea, up 13 percent and Malaysia, up 16 percent.

Salient top market results are as follows:

  • Canadian arrivals totaled 884,154, up 15 percent for February and seven percent year-to-date.
  • Arrivals from Mexico (219,639 traveling to interior U.S. points) grew by almost 17 percent for the month and three percent year-to-date.
  • United Kingdom visitation increased by seven percent in February, with 300,000 arrivals. This marked the 12th monthly increase in the last thirteen months.
  • Japanese visitors totaled 303,000, up 12 percent in February, following a positive 4th quarter and January. Year-to-date visitation from Japan totaled 65 percent all Asian travelers.
  • German visitors to the U.S., totaling 80,000, increased by 12 percent for the month also following solid 4th quarter and January performances.
  • Other top European growth markets in February included Austria (16%), Belgium (16%), Denmark (21%) and France, registering a five percent increase, with four consecutive months of growth. Ireland increased by 24 percent and Italy notched up again for the seventh straight month, this time by 11 percent. Also, countries with double-digit growth were the Netherlands (17%), Norway (16%) and Spain which increased by 24 percent, its fifth consecutive month of positive growth. Sweden jumped 19 percent and Switzerland grew by eight percent, marking its fourth monthly increase
  • Contributions from other Asian markets in February included South Korean arrivals increasing by 13 percent and India up 18 percent. Also, visitation from the ROC (Taiwan) improved by five percent. Arrivals from the PRC/Hong Kong, increased by one percent (with the PRC up eight percent, but Hong Kong down nine percent). Singapore arrivals were up 21 percent.
  • Strong performers in Latin America were Brazil, up 26 percent, Argentina, up 24 percent, Venezuela, up 19 percent, Bahamas, up 17 percent, and Colombia, up nine percent.
  • Both Australian and New Zealand arrivals, up 26 percent and 15 percent, respectively, contributed to solid Oceania results in February.

Top Ports - February 2004 Year-to-date

  • Arrivals at the top 15 ports of entry again totaled 87 percent of all overseas arrivals in January and February 2004 compared to the first two months of 2003. Top port overseas arrivals for February year-to-date, were up eight percent, the same as the increase in all overseas arrivals. 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 same as for 2003 year-to-date.
  • Eleven of the top fifteen airports posted increased arrivals. The exceptions were Honolulu, down six percent; Houston, down one percent; Detroit, down 15 percent, and Boston, down two percent.
  • Agana, Guam, Orlando and Newark registered the largest increases, at 56 percent, 27 percent, and 16 percent, respectively.
  • Miami held on as the leading port of entry February year-to-date. Agana jumped from eighth to fifth, ahead of San Francisco. Houston displaced Detroit from the 12th spot.

To access top port activity, go to: http://tinet.ita.doc.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:


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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