China leads surge in US tourism growth: OTTI

Visitation to the US got off to a strong start in 2012

Newly released figures from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI) have underlined the importance of China to inbound tourism growth in the US as visitor numbers to the country in January 2012 rose seven per cent to 4.5 million.

According to the OTTI, traveler numbers from China grew a whopping 60 per cent in January (when compared to the year before), dwarfing the next highest increases from Brazil (18 per cent), Canada, Germany (both 9 per cent) and Australia (8 per cent).

Notably, visitor numbers from the UK and France declined by four per cent.

With January registering the tenth straight month of increases in total visits to the US, the top inbound markets were Canada and Mexico, whose visitor numbers rose four per cent.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce has revealed that a record US$10.1 billion was spent by international visitors on tourism-related activities in February, a 13 per cent rise on 2011 figures.

Year to date, US travel and tourism exports have grown more than 11 per cent in 2012.

“We have seen long-term growth in both arrivals and spending and hope to continue that trend with the focus provided by the Obama Administration on this growing sector,” Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez said.

“That is why we are making it even easier to visit America’s most amazing places and working hard to tell folks about what an amazing place America is whether you travel five or 5,000 miles to get here.”

The good news for tourism comes just days before the US Travel Association kicks off its annual International Pow Wow convention, the largest event for generating travel to the US.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
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