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Contact: Morrie Goodman, 202-482-4883 or Curt Cultice, 
202-482-3809 or Monica Hill 301-538-5168.

Tuesday, May 16, 2000  

Commerce Report Predicts Record Number of International Travelers to the 
U.S. in 2000 Through The Year 2003, Fueling U.S. Job Increases and Economic Growth

Dallas, TX -- A record 51.5 million international travelers will make the United States their destination this year, pumping more than $104 billion into the American economy, says a report issued today by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Tourism Industries. The inbound travel forecast predicts the number of arrivals this year will increase by 3 million or 6 percent over 1999.

"We expect that this year will mark the eleventh consecutive year of a trade surplus in inbound travel to the United States," said Commerce Secretary William M. Daley. "International travel to America is one of our top exports, helping fuel a robust economy and supporting more than 1.1 million U.S jobs in a range of industry sectors."

Tourism is America's fourth largest export category, and the Tourism Industries' forecast shows continual growth in international travel to the U.S. from 2000 through 2003. Last year, 48.5 million international visitors contributed $96 billion in revenues to the U.S. economy. In three years, the number of foreign visitors to the U.S. is expected to grow to 59.6 million--generating $128 billion in export revenue.

Continual economic growth in Europe and Asia are key to long-term growth in U.S. tourist arrivals in the new millennium. Europe is projected to see its seventh straight year of increased visitation to America, maintaining their role as the top generating inbound overseas region. Visitors from Europe are expected to surpass 13.5 million by 2003, an increase of 21 percent over 1999. Asian visitors are forecasted to surpass 8.9 million by 2003, or a 29% growth over the 1999 arrivals total.

During that same period, visitors from South America could reach 3.5 million, while the number of tourist from Central America could reach 835,000. The combined total of tourists from these regions could surpass the 4.3 million mark by 2003. Arrivals from Canada should continue to show growth for the next five years, reaching 18.1 million arrivals.

The forecast data reflect current world economic indicators and use a relationship between past historical international arrival levels to project upcoming visitation for the next several years. The data will be used by the U.S. travel industry to develop strategic analyses of plans to attract even greater numbers of travelers and to expand the export earnings generated from international travel to the country.

The forecast covers more than 30 countries and all world regions. It will be available on the Tourism Industries Internet site at (http://tinet.ita.doc.gov).




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