With the decline of the U.S. dollar and gas in the United States at a global low of roughly $4 per gallon (it's about $8.33 per gallon in Germany and $9.69 per gallon in Norway), the United States is becoming a more attractive and affordable destination to those who live abroad and want more bang for their euros and krones.
Tourists are flocking to the States. In 2007, international visitor spending increased 53 percent compared to 2003. Here's a look at trends in international travel in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Commerce research:
The average length of time an international visitor stays in the United States is 14 to 16 days.
The purchase of electronics, U.S. fashions and books by international travelers steadily increases as the U.S. dollar value declines.
New York topped the list of most popular destinations for international travel in 2003, uprooting Florida from the number one spot. As of 2007, New York still held the top position.
The top 10 most visited U.S. cities for 2007, in descending order, were: New York City; Los Angeles; Miami; Orlando, Fla.; San Francisco; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and Boston.
Roughly 18 million overseas tourists visited the top 10 U.S. states in 2003.
In 2004, 32 cities and 22 states and territories posted double-digit growth in international visitation.
Forty-eight million pedestrians entered the United States via official Mexican border crossings in 2004.
In February 2008, 3.3 million international tourists visited the United States, up 15 percent from 2007.
International visitor spending reached $122.4 billion in 2007.
In 2007, 56 million visitors entered the United States, compared to just 41.2 million in 2003.
Overseas tourists spent $11.6 billion while in the United States in February 2008, up 26 percent from 2007's monthly total.
Most overseas travelers visiting the United States are from Western Europe, making up 43 percent of all foreign visitors.
In 2007, visitors from Canada showed the most travel growth (11 percent year over year) to the United States.
In 2007, 2.3 million international visitors traveled to San Francisco, a record number for the city.
More than 3.6 million travelers used Orlando International Airport in March 2008, up 6.7 percent from the same month a year ago. International traffic - thanks primarily to new service from Germany and Ireland and expanded service from Panama and Mexico - led the way, rising 34.2 percent to nearly 750,000 visitors.
On average, 500 international flights land in Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va. (near Washington, D.C.), weekly.
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