The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that for the first three months of 2011, visitation (12.9 million) was up 2 percent compared to the same period in 2010. However, in March 2011, travel to the United States was flat compared to March 2010 with 4.8 million international visitors.

In March 2011, declines were registered in six of the nine overseas regions. Part of the decline was expected since the Easter holidays occurred at the end of April 2011. In 2010, the Easter holidays were at the end of March through the beginning of April.

International visitors spent $11.8 billion in March 2011, 7 percent more than in March 2010. March 2011 marks the 15th consecutive month of growth in U.S. travel and tourism-related exports. During the first three months of 2011, international visitors spent nine percent more than they did during the first three months of 2010.

Highlights

March YTD 2011, overseas resident visits (5.4 million) were up 2 percent compared to the same period of 2010.  In March 2011, overseas resident visitation (1.9 million) was down 6 percent over March 2010. March YTD 2011, non-resident visits from Canada grew 5 percent while visits from Mexico declined 3 percent. In March 2011, non-resident visits from Canada were up 5 percent and visits from Mexico were up 2 percent.

Top 10 Countries

During the first three months of 2011, six of the top 10 countries posted increases in visitation to the United States: Canada, up 5 percent, Mexico, down 3 percent; Japan, down 2 percent; UK, down 4 percent, Brazil, up 29 percent; Germany, down 12 percent; South Korea, up 15 percent; Germany up 20 percent; China up 33 percent.

For the month of March only, Canada was up 5 percent; Mexico, up 2 percent; Japan was down 11 percent; the UK, down 12 percent; Brazil, up 53 percent; Germany, down 21 percent; South Korea, up 3 percent; and France, up 24 percent.

Top Arrival Airports

YTD March 2011, visitation through the top 15 ports of entry accounted for 84 percent of all overseas visits-one percentage point below last year. The top three ports (Miami, New York and Los Angeles) accounted for 41 percent of all foreign arrivals, more than one percentage point above last year. Seven of the top 15 ports posted increases in arrivals during the first three months of 2011. Four of these ports posted double-digit increases.