International Arrivals Up Six Percent for 2008

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that 47 million international visitors traveled to the U.S. during the first 11 months of 2008, equal to an increase of 6 percent from the same period in 2007.

November’s international arrivals, however, were down by 9 percent—but visitor spending increased by 2 percent, reaching $11.5 billion. From January through November 2008, international visitors spent $131.8 billion, an increase of 19 percent over the first 11 months of 2007.

Breaking U.S. visitation down by region: 

Canadian land arrivals grew by 8 percent during the first 11 months of 2008, and air arrivals increased by 9 percent.

Land arrivals from Mexico decreased 6 percent during the first 11 months of 2008, and air arrivals were down 7 percent.

Overseas arrivals, excluding Canada and Mexico, decreased 6 percent in November while increasing 7 percent for the year.

Visitation from Western Europe, which accounts for 48 percent of overseas arrivals, was down 6 percent for November but up 14 percent for the year.

Eastern European arrivals grew 14 percent in 2008, and Russian visitation increased 25 percent for the first 11 months of the year. 

Arrivals from the Middle East increased 10 percent in 2008. For the first 11 months of the year, Israel’s visitation increased 7 percent.  

International arrivals from Asia were down 2 percent for the year.

African visitation was up 15 percent in 2008.

South American arrivals were up 13 percent for the year.

Central American arrivals were down 1 percent for the first 11 months of 2008.

Visitation from the Caribbean decreased 9 percent for the year.

Travel from Oceania increased 3 percent for the year.

To access the 2008 monthly arrivals data for world regions and top markets, visit

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