U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
2003 PROFILE OF OVERSEAS TRAVELERS TO THE U.S. - INBOUND
REPORTED FROM: SURVEY OF INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVELERS
RESIDENCE OF TRAVELERS TO THE U.S.: (1) ARRIVALS (2) Percent of TOTAL OVERSEAS ARRIVALS
TOTAL OVERSEAS 18,026,213 100.0%
Western Europe 8,294,083 46.0%
   United Kingdom 3,936,112 21.8%
    Germany 1,180,212 6.5%
    France 688,887 3.8%
    Italy 408,633 2.3%
    Netherlands 373,690 2.1%
    Spain 284,031 1.6%
    Ireland 254,320 1.4%
    Switzerland 230,042 1.3%
    Sweden 211,386 1.2%
    Belgium 151,069 0.8%
Eastern Europe 344,594 1.9%
Caribbean 998,266 5.5%
    Bahamas 253,229 1.4%
    Jamaica 159,484 0.9%
    Dominican Republic 153,019 0.8%
South America 1,522,191 8.4%
    Brazil 348,945 1.9%
    Venezuela 284,423 1.6%
    Colombia 280,259 1.6%
    Peru 154,324 0.9%
    Argentina 150,719 0.8%
Central America 655,841 3.6%
    El Salvador 177,240 1.0%
    Guatemala 151,891 0.8%
Asia (Far East) 5,003,261 27.8%
    Japan 3,169,682 17.6%
    South Korea 617,573 3.4%
    India 272,161 1.5%
   Peoples Rep. of China/Hong Kong 271,438 1.5%
    Taiwan 238,999 1.3%
Oceania 524,599 2.9%
    Australia 405,698 2.3%
Middle East 447,112 2.5%
   Israel 249,034 1.4%
Africa 236,266 1.3%

1 All numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand. Country estimates are only listed if they generated at least 150,000 overseas visitors. [back]

2 The arrivals data reported above are the total arrival figures reported in the 2003 Summary of International Travel to the US (I-94) report. [back]

 

OVERSEAS TRAVELERS CHARACTERISTICS: ALL OVERSEAS VISITORS ALL LEISURE VISITORS ALL BUSINESS VISITORS
Total Number of Travelers 18,026,000 11,086,000 4,687,000
Advance Trip Decision:      
Average Number of Days 71.0 85.3 37.3
Median Number of Days 35.0 60.0 20.0
Advance Airline Reservation:      
Average Number of Days 46.5 58.9 21.2
Median Number of Days 30.0 30.0 13.0
Means of Booking Air Trip:      
Travel Agent 57% 57% 56%
Airlines Directly 14% 15% 11%
Personal Computer/Internet 10% 11% 4%
Company Travel Dept. 9% 4% 25%
Tour Operator 7% 10% 2%
Information Sources*:      
Travel Agent 50% 50% 51%
Personal Computer 27% 33% 19%
Airlines 19% 18% 18%
Friends, Relatives 16% 19% 6%
Tour Operator/Company 8% 12% 3%
Travel Guides/Timetables 8% 12% 3%
Corporate Travel Dept. 8% 3% 25%
State/City Travel Office 4% 4% 3%
Newspapers/Magazines 4% 6% 1%
Use of Pre-Paid Package:      
Yes 18% 26% 4%
No (Independent) 82% 74% 96%
If Package Used, Type of Package*:      
Air/Lodging 13% 20% 3%
Air/Rental Car 5% 7% 1%
Guided Tour 4% 6% 1%
Air/Lodging/Rental Car 3% 5% 1%
Air/Lodging/Bus 3% 4% 0%
Air/Lodging/Tour 3% 4% 1%
Air/Lodging/Bus/Tour 1% 2% 0%
Use of Prepaid Lodging as Part of Package:      
Yes 82% 83% 80%
No 18% 17% 20%
Mean # of Nights 7.7 7.7 7.2
Median # of Nights 5.0 5.0 5.0
Advance Package Booking:      
Mean # of Days 73.0 75.8 38.1
Median # of Days 40.0 42.0 15.0
If Pre-Booked Lodging, Pre-Booked Through*:      
Travel Agent 25% 30% 20%
Hotel/Motel Directly 8% 9% 10%
Company Travel Dept. 8% 3% 23%
Tour Operator 6% 10% 1%
Friend/Relative 5% 6% 3%
Business Associate 4% 1% 13%
Travel Companions*:      
Traveling Alone 39% 24% 62%
Spouse 28% 38% 10%
Family/Relatives 27% 36% 7%
Friends 12% 18% 4%
Business Associates 7% 3% 21%
Tour Group 1% 2% 1%
Travel Party Size: (persons)      
Adults Only 92% 87% 98%
Adults and Children 8% 13% 2%
Average Party Size 1.5 1.8 1.2
Median Party Size 1.0 2.0 1.0
Main Purpose of Trip:      
Leisure/Recreation/Holiday 45% 74% 5%
Visit Friends/Relatives 24% 16% 3%
Business/Professional 23% 6% 87%
Convention/Conference 5% 2% 4%
Study/Teaching 3% 2% 0%
Purpose of Trip*:      
Leisure/Recreation/Holiday 62% 100% 22%
Visit Friends/Relatives 38% 32% 20%
Business 26% 9% 100%
Convention/Conference 8% 4% 12%
Study/Teaching 4% 3% 3%
Type of Accommodations*:      
Hotel, Motel 77% 81% 89%
Average Number of Nights 7.5 7.6 7.7
Median Number of Nights 5.0 5.0 5.0
Private Home 37% 33% 24%
Average Number of Nights 18.8 17.2 18.7
Median Number of Nights 10.0 10.0 6.0
Other 3% 4% 3%
Mean Number of Nights 18.5 16.6 15.7
Median Number of Nights 6.0 6.0 5.0
Nights Spent in the U.S.      
Average 16.2 14.8 14.5
Median 8.0 9.0 6.0
First International U.S. Trip:      
First Time Visitors 22% 28% 10%
Repeat Visitors 78% 72% 90%
U.S. Trips in Last 12 Months:      
Mean # of Trips 2.0 1.6 3.2
Median # of trips 1.0 1.0 2.0
U.S. Trips in Last 5 Years:      
Mean # of Trips 6.8 5.0 12.1
Median # of trips 3.0 3.0 7.0
Number of States Visited*:      
One State 70% 71% 62%
Two States 18% 16% 24%
Three or More States 12% 13% 14%
Average (Number of States) 1.5 1.5 1.6
Median (Number of States) 1.0 1.0 1.0
Number of Destinations Visited:      
Average (Number of Destinations) 1.9 2.1 1.9
Median (Number of Destinations) 1.0 1.0 1.0
Transportation in the U.S.*:      
Taxi 39% 39% 49%
Rented Auto 31% 34% 33%
Company or Private Auto 30% 26% 28%
Airline in the U.S. 25% 23% 34%
City Subway/Bus 20% 25% 12%
Bus between Cities 11% 14% 5%
Railroad between Cities 9% 10% 8%
Port-of-Entry:      
New York 13% 13% 15%
Miami 12% 12% 14%
Los Angeles 10% 10% 12%
Honolulu 8% 13% 1%
Chicago 6% 4% 10%
San Francisco 6% 5% 8%
Newark 5% 5% 6%
Agana, Guam 4% 7% 0%
Atlanta 3% 3% 3%
Washington Dulles 3% 2% 4%
Orlando & Orlando/Sanford 3% 4% 1%
Boston 2% 2% 2%
Detroit 2% 1% 3%
Houston 2% 1% 2%
U.S. Destinations Visited*:      
New England 6% 5% 8%
Massachusetts 5% 4% 6%
Boston 4% 4% 5%
Middle Atlantic 27% 25% 33%
New York 23% 23% 26%
New York City 22% 22% 25%
New Jersey 4% 3% 5%
Pennsylvania 3% 2% 6%
Philadelphia 2% 2% 4%
East North Central 8% 5% 16%
Illinois 5% 3% 8%
Chicago 4% 3% 8%
Michigan 2% 1% 4%
Ohio 2% 1% 4%
West North Central 2% 1% 3%
South Atlantic 32% 33% 32%
Florida 23% 27% 19%
Miami 12% 12% 12%
Orlando 10% 14% 3%
Ft. Lauderdale 2% 2% 2%
Tampa/St. Petersburg 2% 2% 1%
Washington D.C. (Metro Area) 5% 4% 6%
Georgia 3% 2% 4%
Atlanta 2% 1% 4%
East South Central 2% 1% 2%
West South Central 6% 4% 9%
Texas 5% 3% 7%
Houston 2% 1% 3%
Dallas/Ft. Worth 2% 1% 2%
Mountain 11% 13% 10%
Nevada 8% 10% 4%
Las Vegas 7% 10% 4%
Arizona 3% 3% 2%
Colorado 2% 1% 2%
Pacific 24% 22% 29%
California 22% 21% 27%
Los Angeles 12% 12% 13%
San Francisco 9% 10% 10%
San Diego 2% 2% 3%
San Jose 2% 1% 4%
Anaheim 2% 2% 2%
Washington 2% 2% 3%
Seattle 2% 2% 3%
Pacific Islands 16% 23% 3%
Hawaiian Islands 11% 16% 2%
Oahu/Honolulu 9% 13% 2%
Guam 5% 7% 1%
Atlantic Islands 1% 1% 1%
The market share figures reported for the Census Regions, states or cities is from table 24 from the 2003 annual In-Flight Survey report on Overseas Travelers to the U.S. Only destinations or regions with a 1.5% market share or greater are reported in this profile.
Leisure/Recreational Activities*:      
Shopping 87% 91% 77%
Dining in Restaurants 84% 85% 86%
Sightseeing in Cities 40% 48% 26%
Visit Historical Places 31% 37% 21%
Amusement/Theme Parks 28% 36% 12%
Visit Small Towns/Villages 27% 32% 15%
Water Sports/Sunbathing 26% 35% 10%
Touring the Countryside 22% 26% 13%
Cultural/Heritage Sights 18% 22% 11%
Visit National Parks 18% 22% 9%
Art Gallery, Museum 18% 19% 13%
Guided Tours 16% 21% 7%
Concert, Play, Musical 14% 16% 10%
Nightclub/ Dancing 13% 14% 13%
Casinos/Gambling 10% 13% 6%
Golf/Tennis 8% 9% 7%
Cruises 7% 9% 4%
Attend Sports Events 6% 6% 6%
Ethnic Heritage Sights 5% 6% 2%
Camping, Hiking 4% 5% 2%
Environmental/Ecological Excursions 4% 4% 2%
Visit American Indian Communities 3% 4% 2%
Hunting/Fishing 2% 2% 2%
Snow Skiing 2% 2% 2%
Ranch Vacations 2% 2% 1%
Main factors involved in Airline Choice:      
Airfare 33% 37% 20%
Convenient Schedule 16% 14% 21%
Mileage Bonus/Freq. Flyer program 12% 11% 15%
Non-Stop Flight 9% 8% 8%
Previous Good Experience 7% 7% 8%
Safety Reputation 7% 7% 6%
Loyalty to Carrier 4% 4% 5%
Employer Policy 4% 2% 9%
In-Flight Service Reputation 2% 2% 2%
Type of Airline Ticket:      
Economy/Tourist/Coach 75% 80% 60%
Executive/Business 14% 8% 31%
Frequent Flyer Award 4% 4% 2%
Discount/Group Fare 3% 4% 2%
Frequent Flyer Upgrade 3% 2% 4%
First Class 2% 2% 3%
Non-Revenue Passenger 1% 2% 1%
Don't Know 3% 4% 2%
Seating Area:      
Economy/Tourist/Coach 80% 86% 61%
Executive/Business 17% 11% 33%
First Class 4% 3% 6%
Average Total Trip Expenditures:      
Per Travel Party $4,407 $4,523 $5,048
Per Visitor $2,844 $2,453 $4,061
Average International Airfare      
Per Travel Party $1,914 $1,710 $2,596
Per Visitor $1,314 $994 $2,110
Average Package Price      
Per Travel Party $3,004 $3,012 n.a.
Per Visitor $1,294 $1,260 n.a.
Average Expenditures in the U.S.:      
Per Travel Party $2,309 $2,481 $2,278
Per Visitor $1,490 $1,346 $1,832
Per Visitor Per Day $92 $91 $126
Avg. Exp. by Category (per visitor):      
Lodging $393 (26%) $278 (21%) $687 (38%)
Gifts & Souvenirs $310 (21%) $318 (24%) $276 (15%)
Food, Beverages $292 (20%) $285 (21%) $313 (17%)
Transportation $211 (14%) $178 (13%) $309 (17%)
Entertainment $148 (10%) $176 (13%) $109 ( 6%)
Other $110 ( 7%) $86 ( 6%) $107 ( 6%)
U.S. Airport $25 ( 2%) $24 (2%) $31 ( 2%)
Trip Expenses Payment Method:      
Credit Cards 47% 42% 64%
Cash 43% 46% 31%
Travelers Checks 7% 9% 3%
Debit Cards 4% 3% 3%
Sex & Age of Traveler:      
Male Adults 60% 54% 81%
Female Adults 40% 46% 19%
Average Age of Male (years) 42.9 42.4 42.5
Average Age of Female (years) 38.8 37.6 38.0
Occupation:      
Professional/Technical 32% 32% 33%
Manager/Executive 30% 25% 55%
Clerical/Sales 9% 12% 3%
Student 8% 9% 2%
Retired 7% 7% 1%
Homemaker/Housewife 6% 7% 1%
Craftsman/Factory Worker 3% 3% 2%
Government/Military 3% 3% 2%
Annual Household Income:      
Average $83,300 $80,100 $102,900
Median $69,600 $66,700 $93,300

All percentages listed in this profile can be converted into estimated numbers by multiplying the percentage by 18,026,000 (total overseas travelers to the U.S.), 11,086,000 (total leisure travelers), or 4,687,000 (total business travelers).

Business travelers are defined as the respondents who stated their purpose of trip was business/professional,

Multiple purposes of trip are allowed. Leisure travelers are defined as the respondents who stated their purpose of trip was leisure/recreation/holidays/sightseeing. Multiple purposes of trip are allowed.

n.a. = not available

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, ITA, Office of Travel & Tourism Industries

Released: April 2004