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TI News: Information service from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)
January 07, 2013
INTERNATIONAL VISITATION UP SEVEN PERCENT IN JULY 2012
The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that 7.2 million international visitors traveled to the United States in July 2012, a seven percent increase over July 2011. July 2012 registered the 16th straight month of increases in total U.S. visits.
In July 2012, the top inbound markets continued to be Canada and Mexico with each market up six percent and 16 percent, respectively. Seven of the nine overseas regions were up in July 2012 (Asia +12%, South America +12%, Caribbean + 2%, Oceania +2%, Central America + 1%, Eastern Europe +1%, and Africa +16%) Western Europe and the Middle East registered the only declines, down four percent and 11 percent, respectively, in July 2012 compared to a year ago.
For the first seven months of 2012, visitation (37.6 million) was up six percent compared to the same period in 2011.
Top 10 Countries
Top 10 Countries (Sort based on July 2012)
Top Ports: YTD July 2012
Changes to 2012 Processing of the I-94 Data Program
An admissions (entry) number, recording an arrival into the United States, is associated with an active Form I-94 (the U.S. arrival record). The I-94 Form allows multiple entries into the United States during the period that it is active, which is generally 90 days for citizens of visa waiver countries and up to six months for a citizen of a non-visa waiver country. Therefore, duplicate I-94 admission numbers are possible and are expected. An overseas visitor who flies directly to the United States more than once during the active period of the I-94 will be counted under the same I-94 admission number for each arrival during the active period, but each of these arrival records will have a different date and time. And air departures will also be noted in the traveler's record.
The implementation of advanced technology required by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) incorporated international travel documents that are electronically readable. The equipment and infrastructure changes necessary to read these documents have been rolled out over a period of many months at ports of entry (POE) throughout the United States. Historically, frequent border crossers were counted only once on their paper I-94 arrival record during the period that the I-94 Form was active. Now these frequent border crossers are counted each time they cross the border as their documents are electronically scanned and recorded.
For example in July 2011 there were only 1,167 duplicate admission numbers out of a total 40,803 overseas residents crossing into the United States through the Blaine, Washington land port of entry. However, in July 2012, there were 27,043 duplicate admission numbers for overseas residents crossing into the United States through Blaine, Washington out of a total 75,004 border crossers.
The duplicate admission numbers, recording re-entry in the Canada-United States land POE data for 2012, are very similar to the increase in duplicate admission numbers reported in the Mexico-United States land POE data in 2010. The data correction method used to remove the multi-entry counts for overseas visitors arriving through Canada by land in 2012 is the same correction method used for Mexico in 2010. The first occurrence of an admission number by land for a valid visitor Visa category is retained. Any further duplicates of land arrivals under that admission number and Visa category are removed for the balance of the reporting month. This conservative approach also eliminates ‘day trips' which do not qualify as visits.
These data revisions have reduced the total overseas visitor arrival count by 233,459 (from 13,754,430 visits to 13,520,971 visits), a -1.7 percent decrease in visits for the January 2012 through June 2012 period.
The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries staff apologize for any inconvenience that these data revisions have created. It is our objective to report the monthly I-94 visitation data in a consistent and accurate format to support the informational needs of the travel industry.
Access to OTTI Data
Throughout this report, percent changes posted for international visitation to the United States for July 2012 were calculated by comparing data in July 2012 to data in July 2011. Also, percent changes posted for year to date 2012 were calculated by comparing data January - July 2012 to data January - July 2011.