Tourism Busts Pre-9/11 Record

57 million foreign visitors traveled to US
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2008 3:00 AM CDT
People walk on the Skywalk overlooking the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. Tourism to the US is back to its highest level since 9/11(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Nearly 57 million foreign tourists visited the US last year, pumping more than $123 billion into the economy, Reuters reports. It's the first time a tourism record has been broken since the 9/11 attacks staggered the industry. Some 17.7 million visitors traveled from Canada and 15 million from Mexico. Some of the increase is fueled by the weak dollar.

 "At a time when our economy is sluggish in other parts, such as the housing market, it's great to have a bright spot like tourism that is adding growth and employment," said the US Commerce secretary. While the number of foreign visitors is up over the last record of 51.2 million set in 2000, the number of overseas visitors—24 million—hasn't yet rebounded, according to the latest statistics.