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United States Flag Top Markets for Promotion Campaign - United Kingdom

International Traveler Segmented Information from the U.S. Department of Commerce
Survey of International of Air Travlers 2002 vs. 2000

Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board

uk

United Kingdom

Japan

Germany

Mexico

Canada

General Overview

Size of Markets
Leisure/VFR 2002
(in thousands)
  Leisure/VFR % of Total Country Leisure % of Total Country Package % of Total Country
UK 3,176 83% 2,637 69% 809 21%
Japan 3,014 83% 2,760 76% 1,411 39%
Germany 807 68% 613 52% 67 6%
Mexico (Air) 961 67% 733 51% 161 11%
Source: U.S Department of Commerce, ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
December 2003

 

United Kingdom
In 2002, the total volume of UK travelers to the US exceeded 3.8 million. This is a decline of 18% when compared to year 2000. Leisure/VFR had the largest market share of all visitations from the UK to the US with 83% of total arrivals. Out of those visitors, 21% purchased packages. In addition, in 2001, UK surpassed Japan as the top travel market to the US. The declines in the UK market were the greatest for package travelers, down 29% since 2000.

Japan
In 2002, the total volume of Japanese travelers to the US exceeded 3.6 million. More than 3 million visitors came for leisure/VFR, an 83% share of total visitors from Japan to the US. The Japanese market delivered the largest volume of leisure and package travelers to the country, and the lowest share of business travelers. The package market saw the biggest decline between 2000 and 2002, down 38%.

Germany
In 2002, the total volume of German travelers to the US exceeded 1.2 million. This is a decline of 33% when compared to year 2000, one of the largest declines for our top markets. Leisure/VFR had the largest market share of all visitations from Germany to the US with 68% of total arrivals. Out of those visitors, 6% purchased packages. The declines in the German market were the greatest for package travelers, down 58% since 2000.

Mexico
The air market is the only data segment for the Mexican travelers to the U.S. where the travel characteristics are available. In 2002, the Mexican air travel to the U.S. registered over 1.4 million visitors. In 2002, total travel for Mexico was 9.8 million, thus we have no information on the travel characteristics for 85% of travel for this region. Mexican air travelers are the third largest market to this country. For Mexican air travelers, the package market did increase between 2000 and 2002. The largest decline came from the leisure-only market.

The United Kingdom Traveler

Advanced Trip Decision Time-United Kingdom 2002

Source: U.S Department of Commerce, ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
December 2003
[D]

 

On average it takes about 4 months for the British to decide to travel, and 6 months in advance to make the decision to book a package. More advanced booking is done using a package in 121 or more days before the trip than when staying with relatives or taking just the leisure trips. Overall, advanced trip decisions for 2002 were made about 4 to 5 days faster by as compared to 2000. Decisions to purchase packages were made about 2 weeks faster than in 2000.

 

Advanced Airline Reservation-United Kingdom 2002

Source: U.S Department of Commerce, ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
December 2003
[D]

 

In both 2000 and 2002, UK leisure travelers made most of their airline reservations about 3 months before departing. Most packages were booked about 5 months before travel, but in 2002 travelers reserved their airline tickets a week earlier than in 2000.

 

 

Source: U.S Department of Commerce, ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
December 2003
[D]

 

The most significant change in booking a trip between 2002 and 2000 was found in using a Travel Agent and Personal Computer. In 2000, the majority of trips were booked using a travel agent. Although in 2002, travel agents were still used quite frequently to book a trip, the use of a travel agent decreased proportionately to the increased use of the PC. The majority of the packages were booked using a travel agent and a tour operator.

 

 
Source: U.S Department of Commerce, ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
December 2003
[D]

 

In order to gather information on their travel plans, UK leisure travelers used the travel agency far more than any other source. However, travel agency use in 2002 decreased almost proportionately to the use of the personal computer as compared to 2000. Also, PC use increased by 10 percentage points from 2000 to 2002 for leisure travelers, the highest increase among all of the sources available. The group purchasing packages also used the PC to gather information on traveling, although the gain was only half that seen for leisure travelers.

Top Activites for U.K. Visitors 2002
Leisure Activites * Leisure/VFR Travelers Leisure Travelers Package Travelers
Dining in Restaurants 94% 94% 94%
Shopping 92% 93% 94%
Sightseeing in Cities 45% 47% 41%
Amusement/Theme Parks 39% 44% 64%
Water Sports/ Sunbathing 38% 42% 53%
Historical Places 38% 40% 32%
Visit Small Towns 32% 32% 29%
Touring the Countryside 30% 30% 29%

Notes: Multiple Response Question [back]

Source: U.S Department of Commerce, ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
December 2003

 

Dining in restaurants and shopping remain the top activities for all of the UK traveler segment. There was very little change in activity participation for leisure travelers between 2000 and 2002. The only exception was found in the market decline in amusement theme park participation. In contrast, there were large increases in participation for package travelers between 2000 to 2002, visiting small towns increased by 9 percentage points, followed by cultural heritage and visiting the countryside, which increased by 8 and 7 percentage points respectively.

 

 
[D]

 

Trip expenditures for the three segments of the U.K. travelers ranged from $2,250 to almost $2,400, with the package traveler actually registering the largest total trip expenditures. In contrast, the spending with the USA was the lowest for the package traveler, and the highest for the leisure traveler. Between 2000 and 2002, both the total trip and spending within the USA declined for the leisure/VFR and leisure traveler, but increased for the package visitors. The average price paid for a package increased between 2000 and 2002, by slightly less than the increase in total trip expenditures which may account for some of the increased spending.

Demographic & Use of Credit Cards for U.K. Travelers to the US 2002
  Leisure/VFR Travelers Package Travelers Leisure Travelers
Sex
-Male 54% 54% 57%
-Female 46% 46% 43%
Age
-Male 45 45 46
-Female 42 41 42
Avg. Household Income $83,100 $82,300 $70,300
Trip Expense Payment Method
Credit Cards 40% 39% 31%
Cash 37% 36% 35%
Source: U.S Department of Commerce, ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
December 2003

 

In 2002, the average age for a UK male traveler was 45, which is 3 years older than the average female traveler. The average age for a traveler using a packaged trip was slightly lower than for the two leisure segments in 2002. The opposite was true in 2000. In 2002, the average annual household income for a UK traveler coming to the US for leisure/VFR was $83,100, an increase of 3% from 2000. Travelers who purchased packages earned about $70,000 in 2002, an increase of 6% from 2000.

In 2002, 40% of UK travelers coming to the US for leisure and to visit their family and friends used a credit card to pay for the trip. Out of the same group, 31% used a credit card to purchase a package. Since 2000, purchasing packages with a credit card decreased only by 2 percentage points, while propensity in using a credit card for those coming for leisure/VFR purchased did not change.