The number of international travelers visiting the U.S. increased by 6.7% in 2005, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. During 2004 and 2005, international travelers to the U.S. increased by 20.3%, the largest two-year increase since 1996, but below 2000 and 2001 levels, the firm found.
Following 10 consecutive quarter-over-prior year-quarter declines starting first-quarter 2001, the volume of international travelers began to increase during the fourth quarter of 2003.
Several factors, including lingering travel concerns, a global economic slowdown, and more strict visa and immigration procedures contributed to the declines in international travelers.
Some of the factors contributing to the recovery in international travelers include:
*Acceleration of global economic performance
*Ongoing weakness of the dollar, which is forecast to continue modest declines through 2007
*Marketing activities initiated by the Department of Commerce will increase awareness and develop a positive image of the United States as a tourism destination.
As of 2005 international travelers to the U.S. — excluding Mexico and Canada —reached 22 million, representing 83.5% of the peak of 26 million reached in 2000.