åá Overall, inbound travel is expected increase only 1% this year, with travel from Asia falling by 2%. The drop in travel from Asia is partly due to the economy and the SARS outbreak, particularly in China.
The forecast projects a 7% growth rate for 2004 and 2005, levelling off to 6% in 2006, when 51 million international travellers are expected to visit the U.S. That`s up 22% from arrivals in 2002.
á Travel from Europe is expected to grow 23% by 2006, resulting in 10.6 million visitors. Travel from the U.K. alone is expected to be up 24% by 2006.
á The Commerce Department noted that while travel from Asia is currently down, it is forecasted to show an 18% growth, which is translated into 6.7 million visitors, by the end of 2006.
á At least 4.2 million visitors are expected to arrive from Japan by 2006 for an increase of 17%. Arrivals from South Korea and China and Hong Kong are also anticipated to increase, up 19% and 21% respectively, by 2006.
á Spurring the rebound in inbound travel, according to the Commerce Dept., will be the drive-in markets of Canada and Mexico, which are expected to grow by 24% and 21%, respectively, over the forecast period.