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=== TINEWS ===================================
An information service from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
April 17, 2002
Preliminary International Arrivals for December and calendar year 2001
The U.S. Department of Commerce released preliminary 2001-year end international travel figures to the United States. Travel contracted 11 percent to register 39.8 million arrivals. The drop in travel was chiefly attributed to the September 11 attacks and a global economic slump in Europe, Asia and South America.
"Unquestionably, the U.S. suffered its worst single year of decline given the combination of a global economic slump and the September 11 attacks. Few industries could maintain growth in such a climate. In October 2001, the U.S. Department of Commerce forecast total travel to be down 13 percent. However, the 11 percent drop in arrivals reveals the elasticity of travel to the United States," said Helen Marano, Director for the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI).
Prior to September 2001, total visitor arrivals were already down 3 percent compared to the record arrivals recorded over the same time period in 2000, chiefly due to a strong U.S. dollar and a global economic downturn. Visitor arrivals in the last four months of 2001 plummeted after the horrific attacks of September 11. September arrivals dropped 29 percent, October visitor arrivals suffered the worst contraction, at negative 34 percent, and November visitor arrivals contracted 29 percent, compared to the same months of travel in 2000.
International travel to the U.S. in December contracted 21 percent to register 2.7 million arrivals, compared to 3.4 million arrivals in December 2000. However, the rate of decline in international travel in December 2001 was significantly abridged compared to the record plunge of negative 34 percent recorded in October 2001, which hints to possible recovery on the horizon.
The largest drop in international visitor arrivals was registered in the overseas markets, recording a minus 14 percent decrease to 22.4 million visitor arrivals in 2001, compared to 26 million in 2000. Canadian and Mexican arrivals contracted 8 percent and 4 percent respectively, both contracting at a lower rate than the total arrivals drop. Both markets fared better than most overseas countries, due to their geographic proximity to destinations within the United States.
Travel from all of the top overseas countries declined in 2001, although some proved to be more resilient to a global economic downturn and terrorism than others.
To learn more about the extent of the declines in international travel
to the U.S., please see OTTI's analysis of the preliminary December and
annual 2001 arrivals. The analysis will provide information on the declines
prior to September 11th, and for the remaining months in 2001. Within
the analysis, information will be provided on how far back the attacks
put this country, and it will also discuss the changes in arrival rankings
for the top markets in 2002. Go to OTTI's monthly analysis at: https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2001-I-001/index.html
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Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration
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