Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/15/2012 -- The US Tourism Report examines the long-term potential offered by the tourism industry but highlights that the weakness of the European and US economies may put downward pressure on arrivals in the short-term. In 2009, the US had 36.2mn arrivals. The number of arrivals is calculated to have been 46.5mn in 2010 and 45.8mn in 2011. In 2012, we forecast arrivals to reach 46.1mn then to rise to 50.9mn by 2016.
Once in the US there are many different attractions for tourists. The National Park System alone comprises 392 distinct areas covering more than 84mn acres. These areas include national parks, monuments battlefields, historical parks, military parks, rivers, trails and the White House. In 2011 according to the National Park Service, 278.9mn recreational visitors went to the national parks. The country has 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, eight cultural and 12 natural. Aside from its natural beauty and the cultural sights, the US is home to some of the world's most famous cities, from New York to Los Angeles. There is plenty to see and do for every type of visitor and the country's large size and different climates mean that any time of year is a good time to visit.
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The top-three regions for inbound tourism to the US are Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. BMI forecasts that Latin America will maintain its spot as the lead region through to 2016. Unsurprisingly, Mexico is one of the leading tourism markets for the US given its proximity.
The cruise industry is a major part of the US hospitality market. In 2012, it is forecast that 10.0mn people will embark on cruises from US ports, climbing to 12.1mn by 2016. We forecast that 14.5mn people will go on cruises worldwide in 2012, which shows how far ahead the US is as the industry leader. That said, towards the end of our forecast period the US will lose some of its market share, with the global number of passengers in 2016 forecast to reach 17.6mn.
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