Berlin – Preliminary results from IPK International’s World Travel Monitor for 2007, which will be presented at the ITB Future Day at ITB Berlin 2008, and published in the World Travel Trends Report 2008 the same month, confirm that US inbound tourism is well on the way to making a full recovery.
However, estimated arrivals from overseas markets – as measured by the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI) in the US Department of Commerce – are still down on their 2000 peak. Trends for the first ten months of the year from OTTI point to a 17% increase in arrivals from Mexico (excluding ‘frontier’ arrivals), with a 10% growth from both Canada and overseas markets. These figures correlate with IPK International’s own estimates (through the month of September). France leads the growth in European travel to the USA According to IPK, west European travel to the USA rose by 11% over the period, in terms of trip volume, as against +10% for east European markets. The leading European sources, in order of importance, are: the UK (+6% over 2006 in terms of trips), Germany (+9%), France (+28%), Italy (+20%), Spain (+22%), the Netherlands (+13%) and Ireland (+17%).
Russia also increased by 20%, although it is not among the leading sources. “With the exception of the UK, which grew by a comparatively modest 6%, Europe’s leading markets all performed remarkably well,” says Rolf Freitag, President & CEO of IPK International. “This was hardly surprising, either, given the favourable exchange rates and pent-up demand in some markets. “France’s exceptional growth, for example, follows a poor 2006,” says Freitag, “attributed to confusion and delays over new passport and visa regulations for the USA. French leisure travel to the USA increased by an even more impressive 36%.”