For Immediate Release
Contact: Monica Hill, 202-482-3809
Monday, May 8, 2000
GROWTH IN INTERNATIONAL VISITORS
BOOSTS U.S. ECONOMY
Washington, D.C. -- New figures
issued today by the Commerce Department shows that international
travel and tourism generated a $14 billion trade surplus in 1999,
marking the tenth consecutive year in which it has done so. This
was due to a record 48.5 million international travelers who visited
the United States last year, an increase of 5 percent over 1998.
"This is great news for the United
States, as tourism exports support a wide-range of sectors and
1.1 million jobs in the U.S. economy," said Commerce Secretary
William M. Daley. "Last year international travelers contributed
nearly $96 billion to the U.S. economy, an increase of over 100
percent since 1989."
Last year, international travelers
to the United States generated more than $11 billion in federal,
state, and local tax revenues. The United States is the leading
country in the world for tourism receipts and ranks third behind
France and Spain for international visitors.
Canada's stronger economy, a recovering
Asia, and Western Europe's steady economic growth, all played
a major role in the stronger than expected growth in 1999 arrivals
to the United States.
The NAFTA partners continue to be
the top international source markets for the United States. Canada
reached over 14 million arrivals to the U.S. last year, an increase
of 5 percent over 1998. Mexico followed with more than 9.9 million
arrivals, for a jump of nearly 7 percent.
The tourism figures reveal that
Japan remains the overseas leader in tourism arrivals to the United
States, topping 4.8 million in 1999, closely followed by the United
Kingdom at 4.3 million. Germany and France ranked as the third
and fourth overseas markets with nearly 2 million and over 1 million
In 1999, California became the top
state visited by overseas travelers (6.2 million), surpassing
Florida with over 5.8 million visitors. California and Florida
have traded places over the years as the top destination.
The other top 10 states/territories
visited were: New York (5.8 million), Hawaii (2.7 million), Nevada
(2.4 million), Illinois (1.3 million), Massachusetts (1.3 million),
Texas (1.1 million), Guam (1.0 million), and New Jersey (905,000).
Top city destinations for overseas
visitors for 1999 were: New York City (5.5 million), Los Angeles
(3.6 million), Miami (2.9 million), Orlando (2.9 million), San
Francisco (2.8 million), Las Vegas (2.3 million), Honolulu (2.2
million), Washington, DC (1.3 million), Chicago (1.3 million),
and Boston (1.2 million).
More information is available on
the Office of Tourism Industries' website at http://tinet.ita.doc.gov.