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TI News: An information service from Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)
September 04, 2013
2012 Overseas Visitation Estimates to U.S. States and Cities Released
Shifts in Key Traveler Characteristics Noted
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the results of its 2012 Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT) program, which measures destinations (states and cities) visited and traveler characteristics of overseas visitors to the United States.
On June 10th Commerce released that 2012 overseas travel to the United States, based on DHS I-94 arrival data, increased by seven percent compared to 2011. Despite the overall increase in visitation to the United States, arrivals from Western Europe declined by two percent having a material impact on many of the top U.S. states and cities reported. Five of the top 15 overseas countries of origin posted declines in 2012 arrivals, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Only two countries declined in 2011, the United Kingdom and Japan. Of the states and cities being reported, 10 states and nine cities posted increases in 2012 while 10 states and 10 cities suffered declines in overseas visitation.
Changes in traveler characteristics were reflected in the shifts in visitation patterns between 2011 and 2012. Shifts were noted in business and leisure travel, the number of states and destinations visited, length of stay, the percent of first time travelers and the traveler’s use of transportation within the country. Changes in traveler characteristics and origin country market changes had a cross-cutting effect on U.S. destinations. So, what changed?
New York State was the most visited state by overseas travelers in 2012. It held the most visited position for nine consecutive years since 2004. In the period from 2000 through 2003 it jumped from third to first (tied in 2001 and 2003 and first in 2002). However, in 2012, visitation to the state (9.3 million) declined by two percent. Its share of all overseas travelers slipped from 34.1 percent to 31.3 percent. Florida moved into second position, with a 16 percent increase in visitation, bringing it to 6.6 million, its own record for travel to the state. Florida held the number two spot five times since 2001 and was tied for first in 2001 and 2003. California visitation (6.0 million) declined two percent from 2011 bringing it into third position. The state held the number two position five times since 2004. Hawaii, Nevada, Illinois, Guam, Massachusetts, Texas and Pennsylvania rounded out the top 10 states/territories visited. Of the 22 states/territories for which estimates are available, double-digit increases were experienced by seven states. Hawaii and Ohio posted the highest growth rates at 24 and 28 percent. Visitation records were also set by Florida, Guam and Texas.
The cities most visited by overseas travelers in 2012 were New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Boston. Of the 22 city visitation estimates issued, only nine posted increases, eight of which were double-digit increases. The largest visitation increases were experienced by Anaheim (31 percent) and Honolulu/Oahu (25 percent). In 2012, Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Houston, and San Diego all set records.
To view the top states and cities visited by overseas travelers, please visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/2012_States_and_Cities.pdf
Changes in a destination’s visitation estimate will vary due to changes in origin market ‘demand side factors,’ shifts in traveler characteristics and normal statistical variances. For the top three states visited the following will quantify the significant shifts in source markets from the top world regions:
OTTI has released 23 country and eight world regional profiles which reveal historical arrival trends, spending estimates (where appropriate) and shifts in traveler characteristics and destinations visited. In addition, five sector profiles (Leisure, Business, Hotel, Car Rental and Cultural Heritage travel) were updated for 2012. Also, an overseas market profile and a ‘Key Facts’ about International Travel to the United States is also posted. Changes in visitation estimates, reported previously, will be substantiated in these profiles.
To view these reports, please go to: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/inbound.general_information.inbound_overview.html
In 2012, two singular events contributed to our delay in releasing the data.
In 2012 OTTI collected 41,857 survey responses, up nine percent from 2011. This was also the largest number of responses collected since 1999 and the largest single year increase in sample since 2007. Contributing to the increase was the continuation of the supplemental survey collections at 12 gateway airports. This works to improve the overall selection process and enhances our ability to select respondents in a statistical rigorous method.
In addition to the aggregate level data available on the website, OTTI also offers detailed ‘national’ and country reports and custom reports based on subscriber requirements. For information on the research programs, please go to: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/ifs/index.html
U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI), 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Mail Stop 10003, Washington, DC 20230; Phone:(202) 482-0140; Fax: (202) 482-2887; Website: www.tinet.ita.doc.gov; Email: OTTI@trade.gov