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Date: Thur, 10 June 2004
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Subject: March 2004 and First Quarter International Arrivals to the U.S. – Second Consecutive Quarter of Growth

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

June 10, 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

March 2004 and First Quarter International Arrivals to the U.S. – Second Consecutive Quarter of Growth

The U.S. welcomed 3.1 million international visitors in March, a 20 percent increase over March 2003.

Arrivals for the quarter ending March 2004 were up 12 percent. This marked the second consecutive quarter of positive growth, continuing from the 4th quarter 2003.

Intl Arrivals


All regions improved, as follows:

  • Overseas travelers (not including Canada and Mexico) increased by 26 percent in March, totaling 1.58 million, with positive contributions coming from all regions. Arrivals in the first quarter 2004 totaled 4.3 million, an increase of 14 percent.
  • Western Europe visitation was up 28 percent for the month with significant growth in arrivals from all countries. Travel for the quarter registered 1.9 million, up 16 percent.
  • Asian visitation increased by 29 percent for March. There were 1.4 million Asian travelers in the first quarter, up 15 percent, with strong growth coming from all countries.
  • Latin American visitation was up, with South and Central America having increased by 14 and 13 percent, respectively for March. Arrivals from the Caribbean were up by 17 percent. South America experienced the first quarterly growth since before 2002.
  • Other overseas regions experiencing growth were: Eastern Europe, up 12 percent, Africa, up eight percent, Oceania, up 33 percent and arrivals from the Middle East up by 49 percent.
  • North American (Canada and Mexico) arrivals increased for both the month and the quarter (see below).

Salient top market results are as follows:

  • Canadian arrivals increased by 14 percent in March. Visitation totaled three million for the first quarter, an almost 10 percent increase from first quarter 2003.
  • Arrivals from Mexico (those documented by the I-94) increased by 14 percent for the month. Quarterly visitation, registered at 677,000, was up by seven percent.
  • Japanese visitors totaled 316,000, up nearly 31 percent in March. The first quarter increased by 17 percent, improving on the fourth quarter 2003 increase of three percent. First quarter arrivals, of 904,000, accounted for two-thirds of all Asian visitors.
  • United Kingdom visitation increased by 26 percent in March, with 375,000 arrivals. This marked the thirteenth monthly increase since the beginning of 2003. The first quarter 2004 was up 15 percent, the fourth successive quarter of growth.
  • German visitors increased by 37 percent in March. First quarter arrivals totaled 263,000, up 21 percent, and a substantial improvement over the fourth quarter, which was up five percent.
  • All 15 of the remaining top twenty travel-generating countries reported double-digit growth in March. From Europe, France was up 11 percent, Italy, up 37 percent, the Netherlands, up 18 percent, Ireland, up 44 percent, Spain, up 38 percent and Sweden, up 42 percent. From Asia, arrivals from South Korea were up 13 percent, PRC/Hong Kong, up 48 percent, India, up 29 percent and Taiwan, up 34 percent. From Oceania, Australian arrivals increased 36 percent. The Latin American countries Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela increased by 21 percent, 17 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Arrivals from Israel, in the Middle East, jumped by 71 percent.
  • The January 5, 2004 U.S. Department of Homeland Security implementation of the US–VISIT border management program, in which biometric identifiers are captured from those visitors who require 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, March arrivals from the non-Visa Waiver countries were up 20 percent, significant growth albeit below par compared to the 29 percent growth among the Visa Waiver countries. Specific examples of non-Visa Waiver countries’ growth in arrivals are listed in the previous paragraph for Asia, Latin America and Middle East.

To access the monthly arrivals tables for the 11 world regions and 19 countries of residence, please go to: https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2004-I-001/index.html

For a more in-depth analysis of arrivals by regions, top countries and top ports for the first quarter please go to http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2004-I-001/analysis_q1.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:

If you would like to purchase the monthly international arrivals reports for 2003 and 2004, please go to:

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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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