Courier December Courier - Page 14

BUSINESS Overseas visitation estimates for U.S. states and cities in 2016 BY RON ERDMANN AND JULIE HEIZER, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, NATIONAL TRAVEL AND TOURISM OFFICE THE STATE AND CITY visitation esti- mates reported here are based on weighted results of NTTO’s Survey of International Air Travelers and data col- lected from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s arrival/departure forms. Survey results are expanded to represent the travel population, which starts with developing estimates for the states and cities based upon the ports generating visitors to those destinations. Increases or declines in overseas or specific-country visitation estimates from NTTO can be explained by review- ing the data from the SIAT. Port-of-entry data between any two years for visita- tion is the first place to start when look- ing at changes in year-to-year visitation. Examples of this impact are illustrated below. But first, let’s look at the top des- tinations visited in 2016. Top states and territories visited by overseas travelers New York was the most-visited state by overseas travelers in 2016, a position it has held for 16 consecutive years. Visitation to the state (10.01 million) declined by 4 per- cent last year, and New York’s share of all overseas travelers slipped from 27.1 per- cent to 26.6. Florida remained in second position, with a 1 percent decline in visita- tion, bringing it to 9.5 million. California visitation (8.2 million) increased 1 percent from 2015 and maintained its No. 3 posi- tion for the third straight year. Nevada, Hawaii, Texas, Massachusetts, Guam, Illinois and Arizona rounded out Overseas visitors to U.S. states/territories in 2016 RANK STATE/TERRITORY 1 NEW YORK 2 FLORIDA 3 CALIFORNIA 4 NEVADA 5 HAWAII VISITORS (000) | 2015/2016 CHANGE 10,014 9,540 8,221 3,417 3,146 -3% 4% 6 TEXAS 1,692 | -5% 7 MASSACHUSETTS 1,643 | -8% 8 GUAM 1,583 | 5% 9 ILLINOIS 1,567 | -8% 10 1% ARIZONA 1,158 | 11% Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, ITA, Industry & Analysis, National Travel and Tourism Office See the full list at 10 December 2017 -1% -4% the top 10 states/territories visited in 2016. Both Texas and Guam moved up one position in the rankings last year. Of the 24 states/territories for which estimates are available, double-digit increases were recorded for two states. Arizona and New Jersey posted the highest growth rate, each tied at 11 percent. In contrast, five states posted double-digit declines in 2016. Top cities visited by overseas travelers The cities most visited by overseas travelers in 2016 were New York City (9.8 million); Miami (5.4 million); Los Angeles (5.0 million); Orlando, Florida (4.5 million); San Francisco (3.6 mil- lion); Las Vegas; Honolulu; Washington, D.C.; Boston and Chicago. Of the 25 city visitation estimates issued, 11 posted increased percentages, four of which were double-digit. The largest visitation increases were posted by West Palm Beach, Florida (25 percent); Flagstaff/ Sedona/Grand Canyon, Arizona (15 per- cent); Anaheim, California (14 percent); and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (12 percent). In 2016, seven of the top 15 U.S. ports of entry posted increases in overseas volume; however, not all the “host” cities necessarily reflected the same growth in visitation. For example, let’s look at Chicago and Fort Lauderdale. Comparing 2015 data with 2016 data of NTTO overseas visitation estimates, we see how changes in the top ports of entry generating travelers to these two cities shifted between the two years and had a very dramatic effect on both. Overseas visitor arrivals who cleared customs at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) totaled 1.633 million, down 11 percent from 2015, while total international air traffic at O’Hare was up in 2016. The difference is that the growth came from the 54 per- cent of U.S. citizens who arrived at ORD. The number of overseas arrivals who visited the Chicago area was estimated to be 1.47 million, down 10 percent. Chicago is a major hub for overseas visitors, as 50 percent of the arrivals at the airport visited the city, which was up from 2015. The city relies on O’Hare, as 58 percent of all overseas visitors to Chicago (850,000) entered via ORD, which was down seven percent.