With the economic recovery still under way, people from around the world are already slowly returning to the U.S. travel market, and even more are expected over the coming year. Here’s a breakdown of U.S. destinations that have seen a spike in visitation.
More than 1.8 million travelers from around the world visited Mexico in June, an 11 percent increase from last year, according to a report by the Mexican Tourism Board, Consulate General of Mexico, Washington, D.C. This is primarily due to increased visitors from Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, the consulate said.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 47 percent of Mexicans with a passport visited the U.S. last year, as opposed to 24 percent of the country’s population as a whole. The largest proportion of Mexican travelers are in large cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Argentina Tourism Board says it sees significant demand from travelers within the U.S. and abroad. In June, it said, about 50 percent of the tourism visits were from North America, with about 20 percent from Brazil, the Arab world and Europe. The islands of the Falkland Islands accounted for roughly 17 percent of visits. In May, the “Hot Week” promotion helped in the growth of the travel market in southern Argentina.
Most tourists are those that are traveling for business, attending conferences, traveling to warm weather and to spend time with family and friends, said Mauricio Pernas, director of tourism in Buenos Aires.
The Brazilian Embassy in Washington announced on July 29 a rise in visits from America, which registered growth of 6.6 percent from last year. The highest number of visits are from Canada (31 percent), China (20 percent) and Britain (15 percent).
The Foreign Ministry said that Brazil saw a 12 percent growth in tourist arrivals, which totaled 333,972 last year. American visitors make up 27 percent of this total, with Brazilians from Argentina, Mexico and Colombia making up the biggest numbers. Brazil, at 38.5 million people, is the fifth-largest country in the world.
The president of Oceania Cruise Lines Inc., Jim Smith, said about 500,000 tourists from different countries visited the region in June, an increase of 5 percent from last year. “We don’t have the best of times in Europe, so most of the increase from non-Europe countries in terms of European visitors goes toward the Asia Pacific area and the Americas,” he said.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a 14-member bloc comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, accounts for most of Oceania’s visits, and is projected to account for 75 percent of Oceania’s visitors by the end of 2012.
The National Foreign Trade Center said in June that Americans and Canadians brought nearly 200,000 travelers to Israel last year, an 8 percent increase from the previous year. In 2012, Israeli companies came to the U.S. to support U.S. tourism, seeking expertise on the culinary scene, promoting the country as a honeymoon destination, and providing information on security and vacation planning, the center said.
China is expected to overtake France as the most traveled country from the U.S. in 2013, according to tourism officials. From January to June this year, U.S. tourism officials recorded an increase of 32 percent in Chinese tourists.
The French Foreign Ministry said in July that tourists from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Spain and Italy accounted for about 80 percent of visitors to Tahiti in the first half of this year.
Mexico and Panama
The U.S. Consulate in Sinaloa, Mexico, said some 200,000 Mexicans visited Panama during May and June, up 10 percent from the same period last year.
Visitors from Bolivia, a close U.S. ally, jumped about 10 percent between the first and second quarters this year, as an increase in tourism promotion efforts by the Bolivian National Tourism Board helped attract more Americans.