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TI News: An information service from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

November 19, 2012

INTERNATIONAL VISITATION UP SEVEN PERCENT IN JUNE 2012 AND REVISED MAY 2012 WAS UP THREE PERCENT

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that 5.3 million international visitors traveled to the United States in June 2012, a seven percent increase over June 2011. June 2012 registered the 15th straight month of increases in total U.S. visits.

It was also announced that revised U.S. visitation data for May 2012 totaled 5.4 million international visitors, a three percent increase over May 2011. Revised April 2012 U.S. visits totaled 5.7 million international visitors, a three percent increase over April 2011.

In June 2012, the top inbound markets continued to be Canada and Mexico with each market up nine percent and two percent, respectively, compared to May 2012 (revised) when they each declined three percent for the month. Eight of the nine overseas regions were up in June 2012 (Eastern Europe +9%, Asia +20%, Middle East +28%, Africa +16%, Oceania +7%, South America +13%, Central America +8% and the Caribbean +5%.) Western Europe registered the only decline, down one percent in June 2012 compared to a year ago. All regions were up in May 2012 (revised), except for Oceania which was down one percent.

For the first six months of 2012, visitation (30.5 million) was up seven percent compared to the same period in 2011.

Highlights
Overseas Resident Visitation

  • In June 2012, overseas resident visitation (2.7 million) was up nine percent over June 2011.
  • June YTD 2012, overseas resident visits (13.8 million) were up 10 percent compared to the same period of 2011.

Top 10 Countries

  • In June 2012, eight of the top 10 countries posted increases in resident visitation.
  • During the first six months of 2012, nine of the top 10 countries (sort based on June 2012) posted increases in visitation to the United States.

Top 10 Countries (Sort based on June 2012)

Country of Residence % Change June
2012 vs. 2011
% Change YTD June
2012 vs. 2011
  Canada 9% 5%
  Mexico 2% 5%
  United Kingdom 5% 0%
  Japan 22% 16%
  Germany -8% 8%
  Brazil 13% 20%
  People's Republic of China (EXCL HK) 47% 46%
  France -1% 4%
  South Korea 11% 14%
  Australia 6% 6%

Top Ports: YTD June 2012
YTD June 2012, visitation through the top 15 ports of entry accounted for 81 percent of all overseas visits, over one percentage point below last year. The top three ports (New York, Miami and Los Angeles) accounted for 39 percent of all overseas arrivals, one and one-half percentage points less than last year. Thirteen of the top 15 ports posted increases in arrivals during the first six months of 2012. Seven of these ports posted double-digit increases.

DHS Working to Improve the Travel Process for U.S. Visitors
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is diligently working to improve the entry process for U.S. visitors by automating the white CBP Form I-94 card. Currently, when a Foreign National (FN) from non-visa waiver countries enters the United States in a non-immigrant status, they are issued a 2-part white I-94 card. Federal regulations mandate the issuance of I-94 cards to FN entrants. So in order for the I-94 to be fully automated and the paper I-94 card eliminated entirely, an interim final rule is being cleared by OMB to change the Federal regulations. Along with revising the rule, the CBP is designing a system that will automate the I-94 process that will be responsible for electronically issuing I-94 numbers and tracking departure information without the necessity for manual data entry. Automating the I-94 card will offer processing advantages - enhanced data integrity with the elimination of manual keypunching and interpretation of handwritten entries, quicker data turn-around for reporting purposes, enhanced matching of arrival to departure records; and continued use of all data fields included in the current white I-94 card.

Backlog in I-94 Data Entry Process
Please note that the current processing time for entering foreign visitors' travel information into the U.S. Customs and Border Protection I-94 database has reached eight weeks or more. This backlog is having a negative effect on OTTI's processing cycle for issuing timely U.S. visitation data.

Access to OTTI Data
Manufacturing and Services' Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) collects, analyzes and disseminates international travel and tourism statistics from the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. OTTI produces visitation data tables, including a more detailed region, country and port analyses. To access these data, you are encouraged to visit the OTTI monthly arrivals page at <http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2012-I-001/index.html>.


Throughout this report, percent changes posted for international visitation to the United States for June 2012 were calculated by comparing data in June 2012 to data in June 2011. Also, percent changes posted for year to date 2012 were calculated by comparing data January - June 2012 to data January - June 2011.