|1998 Monthly Tourism Statistics|
|1998 Quarterly Analysis Update -- First Quarter|
1998 and 1997 Monthly Arrival Reports Published - First Quarter 1998 Released!
Tourism Industries has released and published the Summary of International Arrivals report (a monthly report) for January - December 1997 and January - March 1998. The report is the most concise and up-to-date source for visitor arrivals to the U.S. The report contains twenty nine tables such as: Arrivals by World Region; Top Countries; Mode of Transportation; Visa Type; Port of Entry; Age of Visitor; and First Intended Address.
Publications can be ordered through Tourism Industries office web site at http://tinet.ita.doc.gov - go into the Market Analysis - Visitor Arrivals Program.
ANALYSIS FOR FIRST QUARTER 1998:
Overseas Arrivals are Down - Asian Market is Key Factor for Decline.
Overseas arrivals for first quarter 1998 are down two percent (2%) according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Tourism Industries office. Western Europe was a strong buoy in the first quarter with nearly five percent growth, but several declining countries kept Western Europe from reaching double digit growth in the first quarter of 1998. Asia countered Western Europe growth with significant, yet expected declines. Asia was down nearly twelve percent in first quarter 1998. South Korea led the declines in Asia, down (62%) for the quarter.
Japan remained the top overseas market for visitor arrivals in the first quarter of 1998 (1.3 million arrivals) despite a four percent decline. Japan, based on preliminary data, is expected to continue to be down (4% to 5%) in the second quarter as well.
Arrivals from the United Kingdom continued to show double digit growth (up 12%) through the first quarter of 1998, and based on preliminary indicators the United Kingdom should maintain this level of growth through the first half of 1998. Despite strong growth for the past two years the UK, for the first quarter, is still in the shadows of Japan in terms of visitor arrivals and remains our number two market (792,000 arrivals).
German arrivals continue to be down nearly nine percent in the first quarter of 1998, and preliminary indicators show that this downturn will continue in the second quarter. Despite the decline, Germany maintained its third place rank for arrivals to the U.S. (383,000 arrivals) in the first quarter of 1998.
Arrivals from Brazil were down nearly ten percent, but Brazil still edged France out of the fourth place spot with 218,000 arrivals for the first quarter. Brazil is expected to make up some ground in April (in part due to the Easter break), but the second quarter overall is expected to be down compared to 1997 second quarter.
France had double digit growth in the first quarter (up 11%) which nudged France close to Brazil, but still shy of the 200,000 visitor arrival mark for the first quarter (198,000 arrivals). The second quarter is not expected to keep double digit growth but it's expected to stay positive.
South Korea arrivals were hardest hit for travel to the U.S., but other key Asian markets also registered declines. South Korean arrivals are down substantially (down 62%) compared to the double digit growth in first quarter 1997. Preliminary indicators show that the second quarter will be down - but at a slightly lower rate of decline compared to first quarter 1998. Taiwanese arrivals have been least effected (down 8%) in the first quarter of 1998, which is a slower rate of decline than fourth quarter 1997 (down 12%). Preliminary indicators show second quarter Taiwan arrivals down around the same rate of decline as first quarter 1998. Hong Kong and People's Republic of China (PRC) combined arrivals also declined in first quarter 1998 (down 14%).
Top Markets First Quarter 1998 results:
Eastern Europe, Central America and Africa all had good growth at six percent (6%), nearly nine percent (9%) and eleven percent (11%), respectively. Oceania and South America held their ground as both matched last year's first quarter visitor arrivals. The Caribbean was down nearly seven percent (7%) compared to 1997 first quarter arrivals.
Canada experienced nearly double digit declines for the first quarter of 1998 with the month of March down over sixteen percent (16%). Indicators for the second quarter 1998 suggest Canada will remain down but in single digits.
Mexico arrivals to the U.S. interior continued to have outstanding growth in land arrivals (up nearly 70%) - especially in March. Air arrivals from Mexico however were down nearly five percent overall in first quarter 1998.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce 1997 & 1998 first quarter Summary of International Travel to the United States (January, February and March) reports. The 1997 and 1998 reports can be purchased via TI's web site at http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i94/index.html