1999 Monthly Tourism
1999 Quarterly Analysis On Arrivals To U.S. -- Third Quarter
02/29/2000

Analysis for September 1999 and Year-To-Date Arrivals to the United States

The United States experienced a third quarter boom in visitor arrivals from most major markets! The positive summer growth helped increase overseas totals to more than 18.5 million from January through September 1999. Canada was no exception to the summer growth, up double digits from 1998, despite little ground being gained in the exchange rate.

Canada

Total Canadian arrivals for 1999 are expected to outpace our year- end forecast. Canadian year-to-date arrivals increased by 4 percent due to the strong Canadian economy and increased consumer spending. According to Canadian sources, Canadian salaries and wages are increasing at twice the rate of inflation with a real annual growth rate of 3.6 percent.

Overseas

Overseas year-to-date arrivals (which excludes Mexican and Canadian arrivals) were up slightly with a steady increase in Western European arrivals, a rebound in Asian arrivals, sluggish South American arrivals, and increasing Central American arrivals.

Year-to-date overseas arrivals were up by 3 percent, totaling 18.5 million while third quarter arrivals were up 5 percent, totaling 7.3 million. Year-to-date arrivals increase was attributable to the steady growth in Western European (up 5 percent) and a rebound from Asian arrivals (up 2 percent). Asia's highest number of monthly arrivals was in August, totaling 716,962 which was 3 percent higher than last August. Year-to- date arrivals for Oceania (defined as the islands in the south, west, and central Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, and others) were up 4 percent mostly attributable to Australian arrivals. Recovery is coming slower for South America which was down 6 percent in year-to-date arrivals, mostly due to the drop in Brazilian and Argentinian arrivals. Central American and Caribbean year-to-date arrivals were up 7 percent and 10 percent respectively.

Top Overseas Markets

Japan, our first largest overseas travel market, had an increase of 3 percent for third quarter arrivals, totaling 1.4 million. This was the first positive quarterly growth for Japanese arrivals since the Asian crisis, mainly attributable to a 2 percent increase in August and 9 percent in September. Cumulative Japanese arrivals from January through September were still at a decline of 3 percent, totaling 3.7 million.

While the United Kingdom, our second largest overseas market will most probably not surpass the first largest overseas market in total cumulative arrivals but will come close, outpacing our year- end forecast. The British market had record levels in 1998 and at this pace, will have another record level year for 1999. British cumulative arrivals from January through September grew by 7 percent compared to the same period in 1998, totaling 3 million. British quarterly arrivals were up 6 percent but the more significant increase happened in the first quarter with a growth of 9 percent.

German, Dutch, and French year-to-date arrivals all had growth levels of 5 percent compared to 1998, recording 1.5 million, 396,517, and 823,084 arrivals respectively. Although French third quarter arrivals were up 3 percent, the strongest quarter in terms of growth was second quarter, up 10 percent. French total arrivals for 1999 are expected to outperform our year-end forecast. Third quarter Dutch arrivals had a strong growth of 18 percent with July being the strongest month (up 21 percent in July). German third quarter arrivals were up 3 percent and total arrivals are expected to be right on track with our year-end forecast. Italian cumulative arrivals were up by 2 percent, totaling 472,409.

Brazilian year-to-date arrivals were at a decline of 24 percent, totaling 512,385. The Brazilian travel market continued to be affected by their currency devaluation. Third quarter arrivals were down by 31 percent, totaling 175, 072. Contrasting Brazil's third quarter decline, there was strong growth in third quarter arrivals from Venezuela totaling 184,950. Venezuelan cumulative arrivals grew by 6 percent, totaling 411,176.

Third quarter Australian arrivals were strong with an increase of 11 percent. This third quarter spurt helped keep the year-to- date arrivals growing (4%) and amounting to over 363,000 arrivals.

COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE YEAR-TO DATE ARRIVALS PERCENT CHANGE
CANADA 11,107,901 3.5
JAPAN 3,689,584 -2.7
UNITED KINGDOM 3,136,073 6.5
MEXICO* 2,718,250 5.0
GERMANY 1,510,664 5.1
FRANCE 823,084 5.2
BRAZIL 512,385 -23.6
ITALY 472,409 1.8
VENEZUELA 411,176 6.4
NETHERLANDS 396,517 5.4
ARGENTINA 393,999 -3.0
SOUTH KOREA 374,346 36.6
TAIWAN 372,458 18.8
AUSTRALIA 363,337 4.4
COLOMBIA 313,877 15.0
PRC & HONG KONG 296,531 -11.9
    HONG KONG 156,268 -11.3
SWITZERLAND 296,437 -3.2
SPAIN 273,756 10.1
SWEDEN 228,101 5.4

Other Asian Highlights

South Korean and Taiwanese arrivals had double digit growth levels of 37 percent and 19 percent for year-to-date arrivals, totaling 374,346 and 372,458 respectively. South Korean and Taiwanese third quarter arrivals were up 37 percent, totaling 156,287 and 20 percent, totaling 144,695. Asia's regional positive performance was offset by the 11 percent third quarter decline and overall 12 percent drop in arrivals from the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Hong Kong, totaling 296,531.

Other Latin American Highlights

Mexican year-to-date air arrivals totaled 2.7 million, 5 percent higher than last year. Third quarter air arrivals were up 11 percent, totaling 1.2 million. The month with the most Mexican air arrivals was July with 537,616 arrivals, followed by August with 367,703 air arrivals.

Argentine year-to-date arrivals were down by 3 percent, totaling 393,999 with third quarter. arrivals also down by 4 percent. While Colombian year-to-date arrivals were up by 15 percent, totaling 313,877, third quarter Columbian arrivals were up by 17 percent.

Other Highlights

Middle Eastern arrivals for January through September were up 6 percent, Eastern European arrivals were down 3 percent, and African arrivals were up 6 percent.

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 202-482-0140.