Blog: International Visitor Market Research
Establishing better baseline metrics
2009 Overseas Visitation to the United StatesBy Scott Johnson on 14 May 2010 - 09:07
2009 Overseas Visitation to the United States
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries recently published its annual 2009 arrivals to the U.S. and arrivals to top states and cities. Simply put, the global economic slowdown created the most difficult environment for the tourism industry since the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001.
* The United States welcomed 54.9 million international visitors in 2009, a decrease of 5 percent when compared to 2008.
* Total international visitor spending in the United States ($121 billion) dropped precipitously in 2009, resulting in a record-setting yearly decline of nearly $21 billion (-15%).
* Much of this decline was centralized in one market: the U.K. Visitor spending declines from this one market alone ($4.6 billion) surpassed the combined declines from Africa and the entire Asia and Pacific region.
* The impact was not limited to international travel. In fact, the total spending (domestic and international) by the U.S. travel and tourism industries were $100 billion less than in 2008, by far the single largest contraction the industry has experienced.
* The industry also lost nearly 400,000 industry-related jobs in 2009, essentially eliminating all employment gains since 2004.
In summary: 3.1 million fewer visitors; $21 billion decline in total travel and tourism-related exports; $100 billion decline in industry output, and 400,000 fewer jobs.
State and City Visitation: In 2009 the impact was felt by most destinations. A few registered gains.
New York State was the state most visited by overseas travelers for the seventh consecutive year. Visitation to New York declined five percent, slightly less than the national average. Florida moved up into second position, for the first time since 2004, with a one percent increase in visitation. California moved down to third position after experiencing a 13 percent drop in visitation. Nevada, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Illinois followed the top three states in visitation estimates. Of the 20 states/territories for which estimates are available, double-digit declines were suffered by 10 states. Virginia visitation increased by 16 percent leading growth among the six states posting growth in 2009.
The cities most visited by overseas travelers in 2009 were New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, the District of Colombia, Honolulu, Boston and Chicago. Of the 20 city visitation estimates issued, 14 posted declines, 10 of which were double-digit declines. Of the six cities with increased visitation, Atlanta and Tampa/St. Petersburg posted the highest growth at seven percent and six percent, respectively. New York City continued its top spot but the city faced a five percent decline. Los Angeles, which has been the second most visited city for a decade, fell below Miami in 2009.
To view the 2009: Year in Review in its entirety, please visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/pdf/2009-year-in-review.pdf
To view the top states and cities visited by overseas travelers, go to: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/2009_States_and_Cities.pdf
This news was derived from several TINEWS releases by the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.