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International Visitation Down Slightly In March 2016(P)

August 20, 2016 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that 6.1 million international visitors(1)(2)(3)(4) traveled to the United States in March 2016, down slightly (-0.1%) from March 2015. With this decline, March is the second consecutive monthly decrease in total U.S. visits.


In March 2016 the top inbound markets continued to be Canada and Mexico. Non-resident visits from Canada declined 13 percent while visits from Mexico increased 17 percent. The United Kingdom (+8%), Japan (-4%) and Germany (-11%) rounded out the top five. Six of the top inbound overseas regional markets(5)posted increases in non-resident visits in March 2016, with South America, Oceania, and the Middle East posting declines.

For the first three months of 2016, international visits (16.5 million) were flat (+0.04%) when compared to the same period in 2015.


Top 10 Countries

  • In March 2016 four of the top 10 countries posted increases in non-resident visits.
  • During the first three months of 2016, six of the top 10 countries (sort based on March 2016) posted increases in non-resident visits to the United States.

Top 10 Countries (Sort based on March 2016)


Country of Residence

% Change March

2016 vs. 2015

% Change YTD March

2016 vs. 2015

Canada -13 -13
Mexico 17 8
United Kingdom 8 10
Japan -4 0
Germany -11 -3
People’s Republic of China

(excluding Hong Kong)





South Korea 11 17
Brazil -27 -24
France -6 -1
Australia -5 3

Non-Resident Visits from Overseas(6) Countries

  • In March 2016 non-resident visits from overseas countries (2.9 million) were up two percent over March 2015, accounting for 47 percent of total international visits to the United States.
    • During the first three months of 2016, non-resident visits from overseas countries (7.9 million) were up five percent compared to the same period of 2015, accounting for 48 percent of total international visits.

Top Ports: Year to Date March 2016

  • Visitation through the top 15 ports of entry accounted for 86 percent of all overseas visits, about the same as last year.
  • The top three ports (New York JFK, Miami, and Los Angeles) accounted for 42 percent of all overseas arrivals, the same as last year.
  • Eleven of the top 15 ports posted increases in arrivals.
  • Four of these ports posted double-digit increases.

Pleasure Travel vs. Business Travel: Year to Date March 2016

  • Of the top 20 overseas countries with visits to the United States, more than 90 percent of the visits recorded from Argentina (94%) and Ecuador (931%) represented pleasure travel to the United States. On the contrary, 30 percent or more of the visits recorded from the Netherlands (35%) represented business travel to the United States.
  • Of all overseas non-resident visits to the United States, 77.3 percent represented pleasure travel and 16.4 percent represented business travel.

Access to National Travel and Tourism Office Monthly Arrivals Data

To access international travel and tourism statistics from the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System, visit the National Travel and Tourism Office I-94 monthly arrivals page at http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2016-I-001/index.asp

(P) = 2016 I-94 arrivals data are Preliminary with these data subject to revisions.

(1)2016(p) I-94 arrivals data are official, but subject to further revision, if warranted. Situations that allow for revision include improved solutions and/or sources discovered by the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security as they complete the automation and migration of records.

(2)U.S. visitation data integrates the volume of inbound international visitors to the United States from residents of other countries using three U.S. and international government sources: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection I-94 Arrivals Program, Statistics Canada’s International Travel Survey, and Banco de Mexico travel data.

(3)2014, 2015 and 2016 data sets are based on the same criteria, including the same visitor visa types and the ‘one night or more’ definition of a traveler. In addition, the methodology for identifying travelers with respect to Country of Residence (COR), and infilling records with missing COR data, is consistent for the three years. The years differ only in that 2015 contained more I-94 records as a result of automating the paper I-94 forms. Therefore, 2014, 2015, and 2016 arrivals data are arguably more comprehensive and credible than previous years.

(4)Percent changes posted for international visits to the United States were calculated by comparing March 2016 data to March 2015 data. Also, percent changes posted for year to date 2016 were calculated by comparing January-March 2016 data to January-March 2015 data.

(5)The nine major overseas regions are: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

(6)Overseas includes all countries except Canada and Mexico.

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