1999 Monthly Tourism
1999 Quarterly Analysis On Arrivals To U.S. -- Second Quarter
11/15/1999

Analysis for June 1999 and Year To Date Arrivals To the United States

Canada, the largest country for visitor arrivals to the United States, dropped by 3 percent for the first half of 1999. This decline was not as fast a pace as last year's first half which had a 7 percent drop. Most of the drop was in the first quarter with a decrease of 5 percent while the second quarter remained flat. This drop was accompanied by a sharp fall in the Canadian dollar and increased competition from both domestic and international promotions. Canadian travel to the United States is expected to increase by the end of 1999 with the Canadian dollar stabilizing and per capita income increasing.

Overseas arrivals (which excludes Mexican and Canadian arrivals) were up by 2 percent, to 11.2 million for the first half of 1999 compared to the first half of 1998 (11 million arrivals). This increase was due mainly to Western Europe's continued positive increase of 5 percent, with 4.9 million arrivals. Both first and second quarters had a positive increase of 5 and 6 percent for Western European arrivals in 1999. Eastern European arrivals for the first half of 1999 dropped slightly by almost 1 percent after increasing by 5 percent last year during the same time period. Asian arrivals dropped by 1 percent compared to last year's 13 percent drop during the same time period. Asia's sharpest decline was in January causing most of the decline in the first quarter. Second quarter arrivals were at an increase of 3 percent which points to some recovery. Asian economies are expected to improve by the end of 1999 as the Asian crisis ends, GDP rates grow, and investor confidence increases. South America had a 4 percent drop in the first half of this year totaling nearly 1.3 million arrivals, after a 5 percent increase last year during the same time period. South America's second quarter arrivals continued to be down by 7 percent, with the month of April seeing the sharpest decline of 18 percent. The drop was likely related to the Lambada effect (or Brazil's real devaluation) catching up with the South American region.

A positive increase from other regions such as the Caribbean (nearly 5 percent), Central America (almost 7 percent), Africa (above 5 percent), Oceania (nearly 1 percent) and the Middle East (nearly 8 percent) have all helped the overall increase in overseas arrivals for the first half of 1999.

Top Markets

Japanese arrivals declined at the same pace as last year, with a 6 percent drop in the first half of 1999, totaling 2.2 million arrivals. Japan's first and second quarters were at a decline, more so in the first quarter (down nearly 9 percent) than in the second (down nearly 3 percent). The continued declines were attributable to Japan's financial crisis in 1998 and slow recovery.

British arrivals were up by 7 percent for the first half of 1999, following a linear upward trend since 1995. Last year, British arrivals climbed by more than 10 percent during the same period. This year's increase in arrivals came from the first quarter increase of 9 percent followed by a 6 percent increase in the second quarter. Total arrivals for the United Kingdom were 1.9 million.

German arrivals increased by 7 percent for the first half of 1999 after a 6 percent drop last year for the same period. Both first and second quarters were at an increase with second quarter leading by 7 percent. Total arrivals for Germany for the first half of 1999 were 925,083.

French and Swedish arrivals increased by 7 percent and 6 percent totaling 481,354 and 161,831 respectively. Both levels were almost double last year's increase during the same time period. French arrivals increased more in the second quarter by almost 10 percent compared to the nearly 3 percent increase in the first quarter. Swedish arrivals increased more in the second quarter by almost 7 percent compared to a 4 percent increase in the first quarter. Spanish arrivals have increased by nearly 4 percent for the first half of 1999 recovering from a 1 percent drop last year during the same time period. Italian arrivals increased for the first half of 1999, by nearly 2 percent, but at a slower pace than last year's increase of 7 percent for the first half of last year. Dutch and Swiss arrivals have both decreased by almost 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively, in the first half of 1999.

Brazilian arrivals had a significant drop of nearly 19 percent with arrivals totaling 337,313 for the first half of 1999 compared to last year's almost 7 percent drop during the same time period. Both quarters were down, the second quarter decreased at a faster pace by almost 22 percent compared to first quarter (down nearly 16 percent) arrivals. Brazilian arrivals for the first half of 1999 were significantly lower than the average for the last four years. The decrease may have been attributable to the continued weakening of the Brazilian currency in the first half of 1999.

Australian arrivals for the first half of 1999 increased by 1 percent, totaling 224,893, returning to positive growth after last year's drop of almost 4 percent during the same time period. Most of the increase was in the second quarter, up nearly 2 percent compared to the decline in the first quarter (down almost 1 percent). This increase may have been attributable to the strengthening of the Australian currency and steady economic growth in 1998 through the first half of 1999.

COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE NUMBER OF ARRIVALS PERCENT CHANGE
CANADA 6,407,229 -2.5
JAPAN 2,247,477 -6.1
UNITED KINGDOM 1,917,052 6.9
GERMANY 925,083 6.6
FRANCE 481,354 6.7
BRAZIL 337,313 -19.2
ARGENTINA 268,476 -2.5
ITALY 255,090 2.4
ROC (TAIWAN) 227,763 18.1
VENEZUELA 226,226 8.3
AUSTRALIA 224,893 0.7
NETHERLANDS 223,610 -2.6
KOREA, SOUTH 218,059 36.3
COLOMBIA 202,359 13.9
SWITZERLAND 175,329 -1.7
PRC & HONG KONG 174,691 -12.3
    HONG KONG 91,929 -13.6
SWEDEN 161,831 5.7
SPAIN 150,063 4.1
BAHAMAS 122,870 1.6

Other Asian Highlights:

South Korean arrivals surged 36 percent during the first half of 1999, after a 59 percent drop in arrivals in 1998. There were strong increases in both quarters, more so in the first with a 40 percent increase followed by a 34 percent increase in the second quarter. Taiwanese arrivals climbed 18 percent in the first half of 1999, after dropping 11 percent in the first half of 1998. Most of the increase was from the second quarter, up nearly 29 percent. Conversely, arrivals for the reunified Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China dropped by 12 percent compared to last year's 3 percent drop for the same period . This decline was shown more in the second quarter with a drop of nearly 15 percent compared to the 8 percent drop for the first quarter of 1999.

Other Latin American Highlights:

Mexican air arrivals increased by 1 percent, totaling 1.5 million for the first half of 1999, despite the 8 percent decrease in second quarter arrivals. Colombian and Venezuelan arrivals climbed 14 percent and 8 percent, respectively, both mostly due to the strong increase in the first quarter (18 percent and 17 percent respectively). Total visitors from Colombia and Venezuela were 202,359 and 226,226 respectively, for the first half of 1999. Argentine arrivals dropped slightly by nearly 3 percent for the first half of 1999. The drop was mostly in the second quarter with a 4 percent drop, which reflected the economic downturn from Brazil's currency devaluation.

Other World Region Highlights:

The Caribbean arrivals increased by almost 5 percent with positive increases in both first and second quarters (up nearly 4 and 5 percent). Total visitors amounted to nearly 520,112 for the first half of 1999.

For more information on monthly arrivals, quarterly performance and other visitor arrivals statistics for the United States visit Tourism Industries web site at http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i94/index.html or contact Michelle Greenberg at 202-492-1129.