The Obama effect and the weak US dollar have helped contribute to an 8 percent increase in international visitors to the United States during the first nine months of 2008. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 39 million inbound visitors visited the country, spending US$108.4 billion, an increase of 22 percent over the first nine months of 2007.Other highlights include:
- Canadian visitors grew nearly 12 percent, with land arrivals up 12 percent and air arrivals 11 percent.
-Arrivals from Mexico however fell six percent during the first nine months of 2008. Land arrivals decreased seven percent and air arrivals for the year were down five percent.
- Overseas (excludes Canada and Mexico) arrivals increased nine percent year-to-date, rising for 17 consecutive months.
- Numbers from Western Europe were up 17 percent year-to-date, accounting for 48 percent of overseas arrivals.
- Arrivals from the United Kingdom were up 14 percent year-to-date. German arrivals increased 20 percent, French arrivals grew 28 percent, and Italian arrivals were up 29 percent.
- Visitation from Asia decreased one percent year-to-date. Japanese arrivals decreased six percent year-to-date. India and PR China grew nine percent and 28 percent, respectively.
-Arrivals from South America were up nearly 14 percent year-to-date. Year-to-date, double-digit growth in visitation was observed from Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina.
-Visitation from the Caribbean area decreased eight percent year-to-date. Air arrivals from the Caribbean were also down seven percent for the year.
-Arrivals from the Middle East increased 10 percent year-to-date. For the first nine months of 2008, Israel’s visitation increased six percent.