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April 18, 2005
  Contact: Matt Englehart
(202) 482-3809


Commerce Numbers Show 12 Percent Increase for 2004

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that more than 46 million international visitors traveled to the United States in 2004, an increase of 12 percent from 2003. This marks the first year of double-digit growth since 1992. The United States experienced growth in visitation for 15 consecutive months through December 2004.

"We will look back at 2004 as a year of significant growth in visitation to the U.S.," said Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services Douglas B. Baker. "Last year, the United States saw double-digit growth in foreign visitation for the first time in more than a decade, which added nearly $94 billion to our growing economy."

In 2004, the United States saw the highest recorded number of visitors from India, Ireland and Mexico. The year also showed an all-time high in spending by visitors from Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Total spending by international travelers within the United States increased by 17 percent from 2003.

For 2004 international arrivals highlights, please view attachments.

Top 50 Markets for International Arrivals to the United States 2004 and 2003

Annual 2004 Preliminary Estimates Total Travel Receipts/Exports & Total Travel Trade Balance


Highlights of 2004 International Arrivals to the United States from Top Markets

  • Arrivals from Canada totaled 13.8 million, up 9 percent from 2003. Total travel receipts were a record $10.3 billion.
  • Arrivals from Mexico totaled a record-setting 11.9 million, up 13 percent from 2003. Total travel receipts were a record $7.9 billion.
  • Overseas arrivals (not including Canada and Mexico) totaled 20.3 million, up 13 percent from 2003. Total travel receipts were $75.4 billion.
  • Arrivals from the United Kingdom totaled 4.3 million in 2004, up 9 percent from 2003. The U.K. remains the top overseas market for the United States in both arrivals and total travel receipts, which registered a record $12.8 billion.
  • Arrivals from Germany totaled 1.3 million for 2004, up 12 percent from 2003.
  • Arrivals from Asia were up 16 percent for 2004 compared to 2003. Japanese arrivals were up 18 percent for the year with 3.7 million visitors. Japanese visitors accounted for 65 percent of all Asian visitors. Total travel receipts for Japan were $12.4 billion, up 24 percent.
  • Arrivals from South America were up 8 percent for the year, with over 1.6 million visitors.
  • Travel from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) increased 26 percent for the year. Australian arrivals totaled 520,000, a 28 percent increase for the year, spending a record $2.5 billion in travel receipts.
  • Among the top 25 arrival markets in 2004, Ireland and India set new arrival records, exceeding previous records set in 2000, by 21 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
  • Annual visitation also grew by double digits from Eastern Europe, Middle East and the Caribbean.

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