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July 29, 2004
  Contact: Matt Englehart
(202) 482-3809

Commerce Numbers Show 17 Percent Growth For First Five Months of 2004

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that 3.2 million international visitors traveled to the United States in May 2004, an increase of 20 percent over May 2003. Arrivals for May 2004 year-to-date totaled 14.5 million, an increase of 17 percent from the same period last year.

"This year, we are consistently seeing higher levels of visitation to the United States when compared to 2003," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Service Industries, Tourism and Finance Douglas B. Baker. "This is an encouraging trend for our growing economy, which benefited from more than $80 billion spent by visitors to the U.S. last year."

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

  • Overseas arrivals (not inclusive of Canada and Mexico) increased by 24 percent over May of 2003 and increased 20 percent during the first five months of 2004. Positive contributions were noted from all world regions.
  • Asian visitation increased 54 percent over May of 2003. Japanese arrivals grew by 65 percent since May of 2003.
  • Western European visitation levels for the first five months of 2004 were up almost 19 percent over 2003, supported by growth from all top markets.
  • United Kingdom visitation increased 6 percent over May of 2003. This growth maintains the U.K. as the top overseas market for the United States.
  • German visitation increased by almost 28 percent compared to May of 2003 and is up 22 percent year-to-date 2004 over 2003.
  • Arrivals from South America increased 12 percent over May of 2003, led by Argentina, which was up 24 percent for the month.
  • The number of travelers from Oceania increased 33 percent over May of 2003, with Australian arrivals up 38 percent.
  • Canadian visitation increased by 20 percent over May of 2003 and by 15 percent for the first five months of 2004 compared to the same period last year.
  • Arrivals from Mexico (traveling to interior U.S. points) grew by almost 3 percent over May of 2003 and 9 percent for the first five months of 2004.

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

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