2000 Monthly Tourism Statistics
2000 Quarterly Analysis on Arrivals to the United States - Third Quarter

January 2001

The information presented in this analysis is from Tourism Industries' monthly publication, September 2000 & Year-to-Date Summary of International Travel to the United States, and information pertaining to estimates for travel and passenger exports is obtained from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Analysis for September 2000 and Year-To -Date Arrivals to the United States

The third quarter of Year 2000 showed an increase of 2 percent for total arrivals. This brings the total number of international visitors for the year to over 34.3 million.* The year-to-date total is a 6 percent increase from the same period last year. Year-to-date arrivals for overseas are also up six percent bringing the total number of overseas visitors to over 19.7 million arrivals. While there is a traditionally high volume of travel during the summer holiday months of July, August, and September, this quarter's growth rate for overseas visitors was much lower than the 7 percent and 11 percent growth rates seen in the first two quarters of 2000. On the other hand, total spending year-to-date was $80 billion, an increase of 13 percent from 1999.

During this quarter, Western Europe experienced a decline of almost 2 percent in arrivals totaling 3.2 million during the usual peak time of the summer vacation months. Total travel receipts for the third quarter were $10.8 billion bringing the year-to-date total to $26.5 billion. This is the first decline for the region on the whole in over a decade. A strong dollar is probably one of the reasons many of the Europeans decided to stay home or go elsewhere. The year-to-date growth for Western Europe is still up 4 percent, or 8.5 million, and because of the declines in the third and fourth quarters, the final arrival figures will be well below the projected 7 percent or 12 million visitors, forecast for the year.

Latin America continues to experience increases in its arrivals. South America has a year-to-date change of 5 percent, on par with the projected growth rate of 5 percent, bringing more than 2.1 million South American visitors to the US this year. Central America experienced an increase of almost 10 percent during this quarter with over 210,000 arrivals. Year-to-date Central America has grown by almost 11 percent, 2 percentage points higher than forecast and a total of almost 592,000 arrivals year-to-date. The Caribbean also had a robust quarter with a 7 percent growth rate reaching almost half-a-million arrivals and 1 million arrivals year-to-date. Total travel receipts for Latin America, excluding Mexico, were also high with more than $16.9 billion year-to-date, an increase of more than 10 percent from the same period last year.

Asia continues its rebound, with 2.2 million arrivals this quarter, up 5 percent from the same period in 1999. Asia's year-to-date arrivals have increased 9 percent from last year bringing almost 5.8 million arrivals to the United States. Oceania also had a strong quarter with a growth rate of 7 percent or over 212,000 arrivals. Oceania has experienced an annual growth rate in the double-digits! This region has posted the largest growth among the ten world regions that TI tracks on a monthly basis.

Canada, the largest country for air arrivals, had a slight increase of 1 percent this quarter with over 4.7 million arrivals. This growth rate is significantly lower than the 13 percent and 4 percent growth rates reported for the first and second quarters, respectively. Year-to-date totals of 11.7 million, or an increase of 5 percent, may be attributed to continued growth in the economy. Total U.S. travel receipts from Canadian travel reached $6.9 billion year-to-date, an increase of 8 percent from the same period last year.

Mexico experienced an increase of 5 percent in the third quarter for a total of 1.2 million arrivals to the interior. To date, Mexico has almost 3-million air arrivals.* Mexico's year-to-date performance is on par with the annual projected growth rate of 10 percent. Total travel receipts year-to-date for Mexico were $1.7 billion for this quarter and $4.5 billion year-to-date.

Japan, our largest overseas travel market, was relatively unchanged from the third quarter last year and is up 4 percent for the year totaling 3.8 million arrivals. This continues Japan's rebound since the Asian crisis and reflects its recovering economy since the financial crisis of 1998. Total travel receipts for Japan in the third quarter were $4.5 billion and $11.3 billion year-to-date.

European Country Highlights
The United Kingdom, our second largest overseas market will probably not surpass the first largest overseas market in total cumulative arrivals but will come close, outpacing our year-end forecast. The British market has been recording record arrivals for the past few years and this year shows continued growth. British arrivals were up 7 percent during the third quarter with 1.3 million arrivals. Overall for the year, the UK has had phenomenal growth of 11 percent for a total of 3.4 million British arrivals year-to-date. The British market has faired much better than its European counterparts. British spending in the U.S. for the third quarter was $3.7 billion up 15 percent from the same period last year.

Germany suffered a decline of 12 percent, but still generated over half-a-million arrivals for the third quarter. After a rebound in 1999, Germany has moved into a year-to-date decline of 8 percent. The magnitude of the decline will likely disrupt the forecasted two percent annual growth for German arrivals for the country. This change may be attributed to a strong dollar overseas and weak German economy.

Other European countries, including France, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain, have as well experienced declines in arrivals for the third quarter. However, for the year, they seem to be doing well, noting several overall increases with the exception of Italy and Switzerland.

Latin American Country Highlights
Brazil led the growth rate with over an 11 percent increase, or almost 195,000 arrivals, during the third quarter. The strongest growth came in July when the Brazilians enjoy their winter holidays. Year-to-date total arrivals from Brazil are over 549,000, an increase of 7 percent. The Argentines also had a strong showing with a 6 percent increase or 133,000 arrivals in the third quarter. Similar to Brazil, Argentina had its strongest growth in arrivals during August. Year-to-date Argentina arrivals are up almost 4 percent from last year bringing total arrivals to 408,000.

Asian/Pacific Country Highlights
Australia continues to have a strong year with double-digit growth and almost half-a-million arrivals to date. Over 152,000 Aussies came during the third quarter with almost half of those arrivals coming in September, a 17 percent increase from last year. Year-to-date Australia arrivals totaled 412,000, an increase of almost 14 percent.

South Korea rebounded tremendously with an increase of 26 percent in the third quarter and 35 percent for the year bringing the arrivals to date at over half-a-million. It seems all across Asia the crisis has subsided and the visitors are returning to the United States.

Taiwan and the People's Republic of China/Hong Kong are two other Asian markets within the top 20 markets generating arrivals to the U.S. Taiwanese arrivals have been up and down during 2000. After posting almost a 7 percent growth rate in the first quarter of 2000, arrivals for Taiwan declined by 5 percent during the second quarter of the year. The PRC/Hong Kong market has generated an 18 percent growth rate for the year-to-date period and has seen double-digit growth in the first and second quarter arrivals as well.

For more information on monthly arrivals, quarterly performance and other visitor arrivals statistics for the United States visit Tourism Industries web site at http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i94/index.html or contact Tourism Industries at 202-482-0140. Each month TI provides updates with the latest arrival figures. Arrival figures are usually available 3-4 months after the end of the month; i.e. January arrivals are reported in March or April. The quarterly table is updated four times a year.

* Mexican arrivals, as well at total arrivals to the U.S. are under-reported on a monthly basis. The figures reported for Mexico each month are estimated to only 15 - 20 percent of the totally yearly figure. TI relies upon the Mexican government for the total figure from Mexico, which unfortunately does not report monthly Mexican arrivals date for all travelers from this country to the U.S.