Tourism Industries International Travel and Forecast for the US - Chart #15
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Yes, we see positive growth over the next five years, with each region contributing positively to the 18% growth rate by 2003. One key distinction, however, will be that by 2003 our North American neighbors will account for just over 47 percent of total arrivals, losing market share position to our overseas visitors.

Let's look at these two North American markets a little more closely.

The temporary devaluation of the Mexican peso in April has contributed to the dampening of Mexican travel to the U.S. estimated for 1999, just over 1.5% compared to the 10% growth for 1998. According to WEFA, our contractor we use for these forecasts, the stability of the Mexican economy during the next couple of years is ensured by the $24 billion financial agreement reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Banks and Inter American Development Bank (IADB). This package is expected to reduce the likelihood of another economic crisis. Assuming sustained growth in its NAFTA partners which will help support Mexico's upward GDP trend, arrivals should grow steadily by over 3% a year through 2003.

The weakness of the Canadian dollar compared to the U.S. dollar continues to have an impact on travel to the U.S. The correlation is so strong for this market.

The good news though is that the recent strength of Canada's GDP has helped reverse the decline in travel to the U.S. For 1999 arrivals are estimated to increase nearly 1%, a major change from the 11% decline in 1998. For the rest of the forecast period, we project annual increases close to the estimated growth in GDP - averaging over 2.5% a year to render a full 12% gain by 2003. As our largest market, it is critical to continue the attention and promotional investments into Canada.

Chart #15 World Region Forecast (3)

World Region Forecast (3)

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