- The travel and tourism industry produced over $582 billion in revenues
for the economy, supporting over 18 million jobs (direct and indirect)
and $92 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.
- International visitors rose to 50.9 million in 2000, exceeding last
year's record by 5 percent.
- The strong turnout of international visitors coincided with strengthening
economies in Asia and South America and steady growth throughout Europe,
Canada and Mexico. More than half of last year's arrivals were overseas
travelers (from countries other than Mexico and Canada). European visitors
made up nearly half of this group, with Asians coming in next at almost
30 percent, and Latin Americans not far behind at 20 percent.
- Visitors from the United Kingdom exceeded forecasts for 2000 with
4.7 million arrivals, an 11 percent increase over 1999. The boom in
British arrivals offset declines among some western European visitors
from countries such as Germany and Italy, who were affected by depreciating
currencies against the U.S. dollar, particularly during the second half
of the year.
- Japanese travelers comprised more than two-thirds of all Asian arrivals
for 2000. They maintained their lead position among overseas visitors,
nearly recouping to their 1997 level, with over 5 million arrivals.
South Korea moved up four positions to become the sixth-top overseas
source of U.S. travelers, with double-digit growth (33 percent) in 2000
to 662,000 visitors.
- Nearly 3 million South American tourists made the United States their
destination in 2000, an increase of almost 8 percent that grazed the
record high of 1998. The increased volume of visitors occurred as Brazil's
economy saw an upward turn. Venezuelan travelers continued their growth
trend since 1996, with 4 percent more arrivals in 2000 than the previous
- For the first time since 1993, Australia made the top ten list for
visitors to the United States, surpassing its 1997 record of half of
a million visitors. Despite hosting the Olympics in 2000, Australian
tourism to the United States grew by nearly 12 percent.
- The balance of the visitors to the United States came from
our neighbors to the north and south. Arrivals from North America
reached nearly 25 million. Canadian tourism in the United States increased
3 percent, the second consecutive rise after a two-year slump in the
mid 1990's, with more than 14.5 million visitors. Mexican arrivals
have been increasing since 1997, and at 10.3 million, the year 2000
was no exception.
- According to the World Tourism Organization, on May 2001,
the United States ranked second behind France and just ahead of Spain
for World arrivals in 2000,
- In terms of travel receipts/exports, the U.S. ranks first among world-wide
destinations. The United States' share of world travel receipts was
18 percent in 2000. Spending by international travelers to the United
States is more than double the level for any other country.
- Total U.S. international travel receipts, including international
fare payments by non-resident tourists to U.S. carriers, reached $102.8
billion in 2000, up 9 perecent from the previous year.
- While Canada and Mexico ranked first and second in terms of arrivals
for 2000, Japan ranked first in receipts (14 percent of total receipts
for the U.S.), ahead of Canada (8 percent) and Mexico (5 percent).
- International travel is one of the largest exports for the United
States, ranking ahead of agricultural goods, consumer goods, and motor
vehicles. It is the second largest service export category, and accounts
for 37 percent of all service exports.
- The United States has continued to produce a travel surplus, generating
$14 billion in 2000. The surplus has been produced continuously since
1989, peaking at $26.3 billion in 1996. A surplus occurs when international
visitors to the country spend more than U.S. residents who travel abroad.
- Travel and tourism is America's fourth largest export category,
and the Tourism Industries' forecast shows continual growth in international
travel to the U.S. from 2001 through 2004. Last year, 50.9 million
international visitors contributed $103 billion in revenues to the
U.S. economy. In three years, the number of international visitors
to the U.S. is expected to grow to 60.9 million - a 20 percent increase
- Continual economic growth in Europe and Asia are key to
long-term growth in U.S. visitor arrivals in the new millennium. Europe
is projected to see its eighth straight year of increased visitation
to America, maintaining their role as the top generating overseas
- Visitors from Europe are expected to surpass 13 million
by 2004, an increase of 19 percent over 2000.
- Asian visitors are forecasted to almost reach 9.3 million
by 2004, or a 23% growth over the 2000 arrivals total, primarily due
to Japanese and South Korean growths in forecasted
- During that same period, visitors from South America are
projected to outpace the overall growth with 22 percent to reach 3.6
- Expenditures by international visitors from other nations in 2000
directly supported 1.1 million jobs in the United States. Payroll
revenues generated by international tourism were estimated at over
$22 billion, and Federal, State and local taxes were estimated at
over $11 billion in 2000.
- On a per capita basis, overseas visitors (which excludes Canada and
Mexico) spent about six times as much as their domestic U.S. counterparts
for travel in this country in 2000.
- In 2000 the average overseas visitor's length of stay in this country
was just below 16 nights, almost five times as long as the average domestic
- The top states visited by overseas travelers in 2000 were: California,
York, Hawaii, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, territory of Guam, Texas
and New Jersey.
- Favorite destinations for overseas travelers in 2000 were: New York
City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Honolulu,
Washington DC, Chicago, and Boston.
- Top Activities of overseas travelers in 2000 were: Shopping (87 percent),
Dining in restaurants (84 percent), Sightseeing in cities (43 percent),
Amusement/theme parks (31 percent), Visit historical places (31 percent),
Visit small towns/villages (28 percent), Water sports/sunbathing (23
percent), Touring the countryside (21 percent), Visit National Parks
(20 percent), Visit art galleries/museums (20 percent), and cultural
heritage sites (18 percent).
- Overseas travelers to the United States are very mobile. On average,
in 2000, they visited over 2 destinations. They also took taxis (41
percent), rented cars (33 percent), took a domestic flight (29 percent),
used company or private automobile (26 percent), used the city subway/bus
(20 percent), took a bus between cities (10 percent), and used rail
to see the country (9 percent).
- Overseas travelers are far more inclined to stay at hotel/motels
(81 percent) than do domestic travelers. In 2000 the average number
of nights in a hotel/motel was 7.6. Spending on all lodging was the
number one expense item for overseas travelers while in the country.
- There were far more independent overseas travelers (79 percent) visiting
the United States than visitors using a travel package (21 percent).
Of the package travelers, the most frequent combination of components
in the package were air and lodging.
- Overseas travelers to the country were predominantly repeat visitors
(78 percent), with one in five (22 percent) being first time visitors.
Note: International travelers includes all non-U.S. residents who
visit the country.
Overseas excludes Canada and Mexico.
For more information on the international travel market to the United
States, please visit the Tourism Industries web site at: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, ITA, Tourism Industries &
Bureau of Economic Analysis, July 2001