Helping U.S. businesses by
Browse by organization

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2006
Contact: Matt Braud   (202) 482-3809


The U.S. Department of Commerce projects record arrivals and receipts from international travelers to the United States in 2006. The forecast exceeds the previous record arrival year of 2000, when more than 51.2 million international travelers visited the United States. In 2007, the United States is projected to host more than 54 million international visitors, generating $113 billion in exports.

“Today’s forecast is significant for America’s travel and tourism industry as well as our economy. A strong global economy will certainly boost visitation to the United States in the future,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Services Ana M. Guevara. “This is particularly good news after international visitors added nearly $103 billion to our growing economy in 2005.”

In 2005, the United States hosted 49 million international visitors, a 7 percent increase from 2004. The arrivals forecast for 2006-2010 predicts that by 2010, international arrivals will reach 63 million, an increase of 28 percent between 2005 and 2010. Exports – or money generated by travelers to the United States – are projected to grow steadily in 2007 to nearly $113 billion. By 2010, the United States will reach over $135 billion in travel exports.

The U.S. Travel Forecast was prepared by the Department of Commerce in conjunction with Global Insight, Inc. (GII). Forecasts are derived from GII’s econometric travel forecasting model and are based on key economic and demographic variables as well as DOC consultation on non-economic travel factors.

Forecast Highlights by Region

North America – The top two markets generating visitors to the United States, Canada and Mexico, are forecasted to grow by 28 and 30 percent, respectively, from 2005 to 2010. Both strongly influence the forecast for total international travel. Mexico has set a record for arrivals and spending in each of the past four years, while Canadian visitation remains below the record level set in the early 90s.

Europe – Visitors from Europe are expected to generate 4 percent annual growth from 2005 to 2010 and grow 25 percent during this period to reach 13 million visitors. The United Kingdom is projected maintain its rank as the top overseas market.

Asia Pacific – Asia is projected to generate annual growth averaging 6 percent each year. The largest Asian market and second-largest overseas market is Japan, which is forecasted to reach 5 million visitors by 2010 – up 29 percent from 2005. Stronger growth is predicted to come from South Korea (+38 percent); the Peoples Republic of China (+90 percent); and India, (+51 percent). Australia is forecasted to increase by 6 percent, totaling an increase of 35 percent from 2005 to 2010.

South America – South America is projected to have the largest regional growth from 2005-2010. Growth is predicted to average more than 6 percent annually and reach 36 percent from 2005 to 2010. The fastest-growing markets in this region are expected to be Brazil, up 43 percent from 2005; Chile, up 45 percent from 2005; and Venezuela, up 39 percent from 2005.

Travel and tourism represents the top services export for the United States and has produced a travel balance of trade surplus since 1989. For official information on international travel to the United States, including additional information on the forecast for travel to the United States, please visit

# # #