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May 27, 2004
  Contact: Matt Englehart
(202) 482-3809

Commerce Numbers Show Two Consecutive Quarters of Growth in Visitation

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the increase of international visitation levels to the United States in March 2004, with 3.1 million visitors. March also marks the end of the first quarter of 2004, which showed international visitation up 12 percent from the first quarter of 2003. This continues with the improvement witnessed in the fourth quarter of 2003, which was up three percent from 2002.

"International visitation to the U.S. is strongly linked to global trade," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Service Industries, Tourism and Finance Douglas B. Baker. "As more people have visited the U.S., we've seen the economy improve and job growth rise."

Total international arrivals increased by 20 percent in March 2004 as compared to March 2003.

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

· Canadian visitation increased by 14 percent in March and 10 percent in the first quarter compared to the same month and quarter of 2003.
· Arrivals from Mexico (traveling to the interior U.S. points) grew by almost 14 percent for the month and by seven percent for the quarter over 2003 first quarter.
· Overseas arrivals (not including Canada and Mexico) increased by 26 percent in March over last year, with positive contributions coming from all regions. These arrivals increased by 14 percent in the first quarter compared to first quarter of 2003.
· United Kingdom visitation increased by 26 percent in March over last March and registered four consecutive quarters of positive growth.
· Japanese arrivals grew by 31 percent in March and accounted for two-thirds of all Asian visitors in the first quarter.
· German visitors increased by 37 percent in March compared to last year, registering a 21 percent first quarter increase over the first quarter of 2003.

To access 2004 arrivals data for the world regions and top markets, visit

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