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8 Mar, 2012

U.S. Hits Record 62 million Visitor Arrivals in 2011


March 07, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Commerce today released its 2011 report on International Visitation to the United States, which is now available on the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries website. Highlights include:

  • 2011 international visitation set a new record to support the National Export Initiative.
  • The United States welcomed 62 million international visitors in 2011, 2.5 million more than the year before.
  • In 2011, the top inbound markets continued to be Canada and Mexico.
    • Non-resident visits from Canada grew five percent, which set a new record in 2011.
    • Visits from Mexico were flat for the year.
  • Five of the top inbound overseas regional markets posted a record level of visits to the United States.
    • South America jumped 16 percent;
    • Oceania expanded 14 percent;
    • Middle East increased 10 percent;
    • Eastern Europe grew 11 percent; and
    • Africa was up four percent.
  • Visitation from Western Europe grew five percent, led by visits from Germany and France.
  • Visits from South Korea and the People’s Republic of China spurred Asia to post a three percent increase for the year.
  • Annual overseas arrivals (excluding Canada and Mexico) totaled 27.9 million during 2011, up six percent from 2010.
    • In 2011, travel from overseas markets accounted for 45 percent of total arrivals to the United States.
    • Twenty-four of the top 50 overseas markets set new visitation records in 2011.

According to the report, travel & tourism now:

  •  Represents 7% of all exports for the United States.
  • Largest services sector export – $152 billion or 25% of services.
  • Third-largest  merchandise/services export category.
  • Generated a trade surplus of $42 billion.
  • Supported 1.1 million jobs.
  • International visitation represents 4% of travelers, but 17% of traveler spending, payroll, employment and taxes.

To download a PDF version of the report, go to: <http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/inbound.general_information.inbound_overview.html>.

National Export Initiative
To improve conditions that directly affect the private sector’s ability to export and to boost employment recovery, on March 11, 2010 President Obama created the National Export Initiative (NEI). The automation of the arrival/departure form [CBP Form I-94W] for Visa Waiver Program travelers supports this initiative as the automated form will greatly improve the measurement of international arrival data to the United States. To learn more, visit <http://www.trade.gov/nei/index.asp>.