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

July 29, 2009

INTERNATIONAL VISITATION DOWN 12 PERCENT IN MAY 2009
SPENDING: $9.5 BILLION IN MAY, $50.1 BILLION IN FIRST FIVE MONTHS

Year-to-Date Arrivals 10 Percent Below Last Year

The U.S. Department of Commerce announces that 3.8 million international visitors traveled to the United States in May 2009, a decrease of 12 percent compared to May 2008.& Total visitation in the first five months of 2009 was down 10 percent compared to the same period 2008. International visitors spent $9.5 billion during the month, 22 percent less than visitors spent in May 2008.  May 2009 marks the seventh consecutive month of decreases in international visitors spending. In the first five months 2009, visitors spent $50.1 billion, down more than 14 percent from the same period in 2008.

For more monthly visitor spending data, please visit:
<
http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/Monthly_Exports_Imports_Balance.xls>.

Highlights(1) (2)

Canada and Mexico

  • In May 2009, Canadian visitation declined six percent compared to May 2008. Measured by mode, land arrivals (1 million) decreased four percent and air arrivals (478,000) decreased 12 percent. In the first five months 2009, visitation from Canada decreased eight percent, with land arrivals (4.1 million) down eight percent and air arrivals (2.9 million) down nine percent.
  • Visitation from Mexico (traveling to interior U.S. points) totaled 401,000, down 22 percent in May 2009. For the month, land arrivals (309,000) decreased 17 percent and air arrivals (90,000) decreased 37 percent. Overall, traffic for the first five months 2009 was down 16 percent with land arrivals (1.6 million) down 12 percent and air arrivals (503,000) down 24 percent.

Overseas (excluding Canada and Mexico)

  • Overseas visitation decreased 14 percent in May 2009 and dropped 10 percent year-to-date.

Top 20 Countries

  • In May 2009, of the top 20 countries 19 posted decreases in visitation to the United States, with visitation from 12 countries declining at double-digit growth rates.
  • In the first five months of 2009, 16 of the top 20 countries posted decreases in visitation to the United States, with visitation from eight countries declining at double-digit growth rates.

To access the 2009 monthly arrivals data for Canada and Mexico; Overseas; and the Top 20 Countries, please visit
http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2009-I-001/index.html

Top Five-Overseas World Regions for visitation to the U.S. - May 2009

OVERSEAS VISITATION

  • U.S. visitation from the 27 European Union countries declined nine percent in May 2009 and dropped 12 percent from the first five months of 2008.
  • U.S. visits from Western Europe, 935,000 visitors, accounting for 49 percent of all overseas arrivals, were down 10 percent in May 2009. Year-to-date, arrivals decreased 12 percent and accounted for 46 percent of all overseas visitors.
    • U.S. visits from the United Kingdom, 340,000 visitors, were down 11 percent in May 2009. Year-to-date, visitation from the United Kingdom dropped 19 percent. For the month and year-to-date, visitors from the United Kingdom accounted for 36 percent of all Western European arrivals.
    • German visits were down eight percent for the month and also down eight percent year-to-date. At the same time, French arrivals decreased one percent in May 2009 and grew one percent for the year.
    • Italian visitation was down one percent in May 2009, and down two percent year-to-date. Visitors from the Netherlands were down 14 percent for the month and down 12 percent for the year. Spanish visits decreased 12 percent in May 2009, and decreased eight percent in the first five months.
    • Visitation from Ireland decreased 31 percent for the month, and was down 18 percent for the year. Visitors from Sweden and Switzerland were down 22 percent and up five percent, respectively, for the month. In the first five months, visits from Sweden decreased 18 percent while visits from Switzerland were flat.
    • Eastern European visits were up five percent for the month, and up one percent for the year. Russian visitation increased 14 percent for the month, and was up one percent for the year.
    • Visitation from Asia decreased 27 percent in May 2009 and 15 percent in the first five months of 2009.
      • Japanese visits were 32 percent below the May 2008 visitor levels, and down 14 percent in the first five months of 2009. Japan accounted for 42 percent of all Asian visitors for the month and 53 percent of Asian visitors in the first five months 2009.
      • In May 2009, visitation from South Korea and India declined 19 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Year-to-date, arrivals from South Korea and India declined 18 percent and 14 percent, respectively. In May 2009, arrivals from the People’s Republic of China were down 27 percent and were down one percent for the year.
      • Taiwanese visitation dropped 29 percent for the month and was down 22 percent year-to-date.
    • U.S. visitation from South America decreased nine percent in May 2009 and increased one percent in the first five months of 2009.
      • Brazilian visitation was down eight percent for the month and up seven percent in the first five months. Brazil is the top visitation market from South America; and in the first five months of 2009 accounted for 33 percent of visits from the region. U.S. visits from Argentina decreased three percent in May 2009 and grew nine percent for the year.
      • U.S. visitation from Venezuela decreased 14 percent in May 2009 and declined six percent for the year. Colombian visits decreased 10 percent for the month and dropped six percent year-to-date.
    • Central American visits decreased 14 percent in May 2009 bringing it to a seven percent decline for the year.
    • U.S. visitation from the Caribbean decreased 12 percent in May 2009 and dropped six percent for the year.
      • Visitation from the Dominican Republic, the top visitation market from the Caribbean region, decreased 14 percent in May 2009 and declined 12 percent for the year.
      • In May 2009, there was a 9 percent decrease in visits from the Bahamas. However, year-to-date, visits were still up 19 percent.
    • Travel from Oceania decreased two percent in May 2009 and decreased eight percent year-to-date.
      • Australia was flat for the month and registered a seven percent decrease year-to-date. Australia accounted for 83 percent of all visits from Oceania in the first five months of 2009.
    • U.S. visitation from the Middle East decreased 11 percent in May 2009 and was down five percent year-to-date.
      • Israeli visitation to the United States decreased 20 percent in May 2009 and dropped 11 percent year-to-date.
    • U.S. visitation from Africa decreased nine percent in May 2009 and for the first five months of 2008.

    To access the 2009 monthly arrivals data for world regions and top markets, visit
    http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2009-I-001/index.html

    TOP PORTS: Year-to-Date May 2009

    In the first five months of 2009, overseas visits (excluding Canada and Mexico) dropped 10 percent.  Visitation through the top 15 ports of entry accounted for 86 percent of all overseas visits, almost one percentage-point higher than last year.

    The top three ports of entry (New York JFK, Miami and Los Angeles) accounted for 40 percent of all overseas arrivals, up over one percentage-point from the first five months of 2008.

    Twelve of the top fifteen ports posted decreases in arrivals in the first five months of 2009. Arrivals decreased by double digits through six of the ports. Miami, Orlando (MCO) and Philadelphia are the only ports in the top 15 ports that posted an increase.

    In the first five months of 2009, visitation through San Francisco decreased 18 percent, moving it into sixth position behind Honolulu. Travel through Agana, Guam decreased nine percent, dropping it behind Chicago into eighth position. With arrivals through Detroit decreasing 32 percent, this port moved into fifteenth position behind Boston and Philadelphia.

    To access top port activity, go to the OTTI monthly arrivals page above and scroll down the page until you see the yellow title bar entitled: 2009 Monthly Top Airports for Overseas Non-Resident Arrivals. Click on the Excel file to view the monthly port figures.

    Arrivals to the United States by port-of-entry are tracked on a monthly basis. The U.S. Department of Commerce has arrival data on more than 40 U.S. ports-of-entry from all world regions and 30 countries, with a brief analysis presented on the top 15 ports for overseas arrivals in 2009.

    SOURCE:

    The monthly Summary of International Travel to the U.S. report has approximately 30 tables that provide data on monthly and year-to-date arrivals to the United States. The report provides data on approximately 90 countries each month and more than 40 ports of entry. Numerous breakouts are provided by world region and country for the port tables as well.

    To find out more about this program, please go to:
    http://travel.trade.gov/research/programs/i94/index.html

    If you would like to subscribe to the monthly international arrivals reports, please go to:
    http://travel.trade.gov/research/reports/i94/index.html

    U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
    Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
    1401 Constitution Avenue N.W., Room 1003
    Washington, D.C. 20230
    Phone: (202) 482-0140, Fax: (202) 482-2887
    http://travel.trade.gov/
    Email: otti@trade.gov


    1 Throughout this report, percent changes posted for May 2009 were calculated by comparing data in May 2009 to data in May 2008. Also, percent changes posted for year-to-date 2009 were calculated by comparing data January - May 2009 to data January - May 2008.

    2 The U.S. Department of Commerce complies with the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) standard definition and class of international travelers when reporting monthly and annual arrivals data. This standard excludes all day-trippers from any of the counts/estimates, including those from Canada and Mexico. Also, OTTI has included non-immigrant visa types E treaty trader or investor and I representatives of foreign information media into the counts to more accurately reflects business visitation.