74.8 million international visitors traveled to USA in 2014

Washington : A record 74.8 million international visitors traveled to the United States in 2014, up seven percent . Travel volume from overseas regions totaled 34.4 million and was also up seven percent compared to 2013.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the results of its 2014 Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT). The SIAT is a primary research program, launched in 1983, that estimates overseas visitor volumes to destinations (states and cities) and provides traveler characteristics of those visitors from overseas and Mexico (air) to the United States and its destinations.

New York State was the most visited state by overseas travelers in 2014. It has been the most visited state for 14 consecutive years. Visitation to the state (9.98 million) increased by two percent. However, its share of all overseas travelers slipped from 30.6 percent to 29.0.

Florida remained in second position, with an 18 percent increase in visitation, bringing it to 8.5 million, a record for overseas travel to the state. Florida has held the number two spot six times since 2001 and was tied for first in 2001 and 2003. California visitation (7.2 million) increased 11 percent from 2013 helping it to maintain third position. The state has held the number two position six times since 2003.

Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Guam and New Jersey tying with Pennsylvania rounded out the top ‘10’ states/territories visited. Of the 23 states/territories for which estimates are available, double-digit increases were experienced by 10 states. Georgia and Washington posted the highest growth rates at 22 and 21 percent, respectively. Overseas visitation records were also set by New York, Florida, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Washington, Utah and Virginia between 1997 -2014.

The cities most visited by overseas travelers in 2014 were New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Boston and Chicago. Of the 23 city visitation estimates issued, 15 posted increases, 11 of which were double-digit increases. The largest visitation increases were experienced by Atlanta (25 percent) and San Diego (24 percent). In rank order, New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Diego, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Seattle and the Florida Keys all set overseas visitation records between 1997 – 2014. See below(1), regarding ports of entry and cities ‘visited’.

The increase in travel, measured by all trip purposes, was driven by leisure (vacation) and visiting friends and relatives (VFR). Business travel to the U.S. was up, but convention travel was flat. The average number of states and destinations visited increased. The average length of stay increased as did travel party size. The share of tour packages declined and first time travelers grew slightly. The use of intercity transportation modes declined, but the use of auto and cruises (one plus nights) increased.

Leisure Travel (Vacation/Holiday for all purposes of trip), estimated at a record 23.5 million travelers in 2014, increased 10 percent from 2013. Countries that produced increases in leisure travel included the U.K., Brazil, Germany, France, Australia, China and South Korea. Most of the top U.S. destinations experienced growth in leisure travelers, with Florida and California at double digits. Florida and California both set records in 2014 for the most travelers visiting the state for a vacation.

Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) estimated at 10.4 million travelers was up 13 percent from 2013.Business travel, estimated at 5.2 million, increased five percent in 2014. Business travel to the United States was up from Asia, except for Japan. New York and California remain the big business markets; however there was growth in business travel to Florida and Massachusetts.Convention travel, estimated at 3.0 million travelers, was flat when compared to 2013 traveler volume.

The average number of states visited in 2014 increased from 1.4 to 1.5 and the percentage of travelers visiting only one state increased to a 73 percent share of total visitors, up slightly in 2014. The average number of destinations visited increased from 1.9 to 2.0 and the percent of travelers visiting only one destination dropped two percentage points to 54 percent.

The length of stay in the United States averaged 18.4 nights, up from 17.5 nights in 2013. Several of the top overseas arrival markets showed increases in the length of visit, i.e. the U.K, Japan, China, Germany, Korea and Italy among the top 10 overseas arrivals markets.

News Source: travel.trade.gov

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