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March 8, 2004
  Contact: Victoria Park
(202) 482-3809


British and German travel to the United States increased in 2003 and is projected to continue to grow through the first half of 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel Barometer Survey.

The travel trade reported bookings for British travelers to the United States increased in a range from four to nine percent for 2003 compared to 2002 and that bookings for visitors from Germany grew between one to three percent in 2003 over 2002. The travel trade from both countries are projecting even more visitors to the United States for the first six months of 2004 compared to the first six months of 2003.

“The return of travelers from the United Kingdom and Germany is a good sign that our tourism industry is beginning to recover from the devastation suffered after September 11, 2001,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Douglas B. Baker. “While these numbers are encouraging, there is still room for improvement.”

The Travel Barometer Survey is a qualitative survey designed to collect data from the travel trade working in the host country to promote and/or sell travel to the United States. The goal is to reliably predict a short-term forecast on travel demand to the United States, report growth in bookings and monitor market conditions. The quarterly internet-based program also queries the travel trade’s view of the top actions needed to expand travel to the United States. The quarterly results are reported within two weeks after the survey period ends.

Based on the success of the United Kingdom and German programs, the Department of Commerce has expanded the Travel Barometer program into Mexico and Japan. In February 2004, Ambassador Antonio O. Garza, Jr. announced the launch of the first Mexican Travel Barometer. Mexico is the second largest travel market for the United States, and the expansion of the Travel Barometer into Mexico will help U.S. companies effectively track Mexican travel demand and bookings.

The Japan Travel Barometer will be launched in April 2004 to complement the existing programs in the United Kingdom, Germany and Mexico. The Japan Travel Barometer will be an invaluable tool as the Department of Commerce moves forward on the U.S./Japan Tourism Export Expansion Initiative.

For more information on the Travel Barometer Program, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/barometer/index.html

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