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August 9, 2002
  Contact: Victoria Park
(202) 482-0310


Overall Arrivals Down, But Improvements in Six Top Markets

The U.S. Department of Commerce released preliminary visitor arrival figures for the first quarter of 2002 that indicate visitors to the United States from six top markets have returned to or surpassed pre-9/11 levels.

"Tourism's continued recovery is so important to the strength of our economy," said Linda Conlin, Assistant Secretary for Commerce's Office of Trade Development. "These latest figures are a signal that the Administration's hard work in addressing the sharp decline in tourism since September 11 is paying off."

Overall, first quarter 2002 international arrivals were down 12 percent (8.3 million arrivals compared to 9.5 million in 2001). There were four top markets - the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland - that posted declines for the first quarter of 2002, but the declines are less than what was recorded in the immediate months before the September 11 attacks. Mexico and Spain are the only top markets to post positive growth in arrivals through the first quarter.

Highlights of International Arrivals of Six Top Markets for First Quarter 2002:

  • Mexico - Mexican travel to the U.S. grew 70 percent (463,212 arrivals) in March 2002 compared to 272,036 arrivals in March 2001. First quarter 2002 arrivals show travel to the U.S. was up 22% compared to first quarter 2001.

  • Spain - The only top overseas market to end the first quarter of 2002 with positive growth in the first quarter of 2002. First quarter 2002 arrival levels were up 6 percent compared to first quarter 2001.

  • The United Kingdom - Prior to September 11, travel from the U.K. was down 4 percent. Travel from the U.K. during the first quarter 2002 was down 2 percent (916,154 arrivals).

  • Germany -Travel from Germany through the first quarter of 2002 contracted 16 percent (264,524 arrivals) compared to the first quarter of 2001. However, prior to the September 11attacks, travel from Germany was down 17 percent.

  • The Netherlands - Arrivals from the Netherlands began to slide in January 2001 (registering a negative 17 percent for the January-August 2001 time frame) and plummeted to negative 41 percent in September 2001. However, the rate of decline has continued to abide each month since. For the first quarter of 2002, arrivals from the Netherlands were down only six percent.

  • Switzerland - Prior to September 2001, travel was down 9 percent. Arrivals in February still contracted 9 percent and March arrivals were down 3 percent. Overall, first quarter 2002 arrivals were down 7 percent.

To learn more about the 2002 arrivals analysis, go to: http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2002-I-001/index.html.

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