Source: L.A. Times
Tourists aren't flocking to the U.S.
The number of overseas visitors dropped sharply from 2000 to 2005. Mayors urge more spending on marketing.
By Kimi Yoshino, Times Staff Writer
June 22, 2007
Troubled by steep declines in international tourism, U.S. mayors are urging the federal government to spend more money on marketing the United States and to make the entry process friendlier and faster.
Responding to a survey by the Travel Business Roundtable, mayors from the country's top travel destinations said tourism — a driving force of the U.S. economy — needed to be a top priority.
The number of overseas visitors to the U.S. has dropped 17% since its peak in 2000 — and 20% in the top 15 cities — costing more than $100 billion in lost visitor spending through 2005, according to the Commerce Department.
In Los Angeles, tourism is expected to add $13 billion in direct cash to the economy this year. But from 2000 to 2005, the number of overseas travelers declined 27%. In Anaheim, home of Disneyland, the number of overseas visitors dropped 21% in the same period, Commerce Department statistics showed.