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.