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U.S. Commerce Department Forecasts Rebound in International Travel to the United States by 2013


Tuesday, October 27, 2009



U.S. Commerce Department Forecasts Rebound in International Travel to the United States by 2013

The U.S. Department of Commerce today released its 2009-2013 travel forecast and expects the United States to welcome 63 million international visitors in 2013, an increase of nine percent from record-setting visits in 2008. However, reflective of the global economic downturn, international visitation is projected to decline eight percent between 2008 and 2009 to 53 million visitors.

“The United States’ experience in 2009 reflects worldwide economic challenges,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “The positive growth for international travel by 2013 and beyond will be spurred by projected global economic recovery and by America’s welcoming spirit.”

All but three of the top 25 arrivals markets are projected to post declines in 2009, with Taiwan (-17 percent), Ireland (-14 percent) and Sweden (-13 percent) anticipating the largest reductions. Brazil (+6 percent), Argentina (+5 percent) and Switzerland (+1 percent) are projected to post increases in 2009. Looking ahead to 2010, most countries are projected to post visitor increases and thus reverse the 2009 declines. The exceptions are Spain, Ireland and Venezuela, which are expected to post small declines in 2010.

Travel and tourism is the top services sector export for the United States, and has produced a travel trade surplus since 1989. The U.S. travel forecast was prepared for the Department of Commerce by IHS Global Insight, Inc. (GI). Forecasts are derived from GI’s econometric travel forecasting model, and are based on key economic and demographic variables, as well as Commerce consultation on non-economic travel factors, and actual current and historical arrivals data. A forecast is available for total arrivals, each world region and 42 countries for 2009-2013.

Commerce’s International Trade Administration, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries produces visitation data for more than 200 countries, as well as visitation data for each world region. For additional information on the forecast for travel to the United States for 2009-2013, please visit