Top 20 countries fueling U.S. tourism: Asia and Latin America on the rise, Europe in decline


Skift Take

America’s top 20 inbound tourism markets includes a surprising mix, but as expected, overall rapid growth from Asia and Latin America points to where U.S. tourism efforts should be focused for the at least the next decade.

— Samantha Shankman

The number of Europeans visiting the U.S. continued to drop in 2012,  while the number of Asian and Latin Americans quickly increased.

Data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce today details America’s top inbound tourism markets from 2012.

Total visitor numbers increased 7 percent to a new record of 67 million international visitors. Arrivals were led by Canada and Mexico, which brought in 22.7 million and 14.5 million travelers a piece.

Of the top 20 inbound markets, all six that dropped in visitation were in Europe: UK (-1.9%), France (-3.2%), Italy (-6.8%), Spain (-13.3%), the Netherlands (-1.5%), and Ireland (-4.3%).

All other markets increased visitation with the greatest growth coming from Asia and Latin America. China posted a remarkable 35.5 percent increase in visitation followed by growth from Colombia (+21.2%), Venezuela (+20.3%), Argentina (+20%), and Brazil (+18.8%).

Country Arrivals Change 2012 vs. 2011 (%)
Canada 22,698,986 6.4
Mexico 14,509,341 7.5
United Kingdom 3,763,381 -1.9
Japan 3,698,073 13.8
Germany 1,875,952 2.9
Brazil 1,791,103 18.8
China (excl Hong Kong) 1,474,408 35.3
France 1,455,720 -3.2
South Korea 1,251,432 9.3
Australia 1,122,180 8.1
Italy 831,343 -6.8
India 724,433 9.2
Venezuela 674,754 20.3
Argentina 614,504 20
Spain 607,273 -13.3
Colombia 602,338 21.2
Netherlands 591,746 -1.5
Switzerland 476,637 0
Sweden 442,013 0.7
Ireland 331,850 -4.3
Total Top 20 for Year-to-Date 59,537,467 6.6
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