USA Today: The U.S. travel and tourism industry has suffered some painful blows in these recession-ravaged years. But the numbers are encouraging on one front: inbound foreign tourists.
About 60 million international tourists visited the USA in 2010, up 9% from the previous year, says an annual Commerce Department report. The report, issued by the department's Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, put their economic impact at $1.34 trillion.
In general, foreign visitors behave a lot like domestic tourists -- they stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, shop for stuff and seek out entertainment. They just spend more money than their domestic counterparts. Foreign leisure travelers outnumbered foreign business travelers by more than two to one.
And where did they come from? No surprise here: Canada and Mexico are No. 1 and No. 2, followed by the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany. But the countries that accounted for the greatest increases in visitation were China (with a whopping 53% gain over 2009); South Korea (up 49%) and Brazil (up 34%).
New York is the top city for foreign visitors, followed by Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Hawaiian locales and Las Vegas.