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U.S. Expects 52 Million Visitors by 2006

May 9, 2005

U.S. Expects 52 Million Visitors by 2006
May 9, 2005 – The U.S. Department of Commerce released its semi-annual Forecast of International Travel to the United States last week, estimating more than 52 million international visitors to the U.S. in 2006. These visitors will generate almost $110 billion in exports. The previous record arrival year was 2000 when over 51 million international travelers visited the U.S.

"Pent-up demand and a strong global economy are forecasted to boost visitation to the United States during the next four years," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Services Douglas B. Baker said. "This is particularly good news after international visitors added nearly $94 billion to our growing economy in 2004."

The department stated that in 2004, the U.S. hosted 46 million international visitors, a 12 percent increase from 2003. "The arrivals forecast for 2005-2008 indicates that by 2008, international arrivals will have reached almost 58 million, an increase of 25 percent between 2004 and 2008," the department said in a release.

The department is basing this forecasted growth rates of 6 percent for 2005 and 2006, and a 5 percent increase for 2007 and 2008 on stronger global economy and pent up demand.

"Exports generated by travelers to the United States are projected to grow steadily in 2006 to nearly $110 billion," the department added. "By 2008, the United States will reach over $126 billion in travel exports. The travel trade surplus is expected to increase to almost $12 billion by 2008."

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