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Spending by international visitors to the U.S. continues to rise

April 17, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • Spending by international visitors to the U.S. increased 14% in February compared with February 2011, according to the Department of Commerce. Above, the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.
Spending by international visitors to the U.S. increased 14% in February… (Michael Robinson Chavez…)

Spending by international visitors to the U.S. continued to rise in February, doubling the increase seen in the previous month.

International visitors spent an estimated $13.3 billion on travel to the U.S. and on accommodations, food and other costs while in the country in February, a 14% increase compared with February 2011, according to the Department of Commerce.

In January, foreign travelers spent $12.87 billion, a 7% increase from the same month in 2011, the agency said.

Spending by international travelers has been on the rise since 2010, particularly from countries with surging economies, such as China, Brazil and Australia, among a few others. The top sources for international visitors continue to be Canada and Mexico. But the growth in visitors from those countries have not been dramatic.

The rise in spending corresponds to a rise in total visitors. In January, the U.S. welcomed 4.5 million international visitors, a 7% increase over January 2011. It marked the 10th straight month of increase in total visitors.

"Today's data is yet further evidence that the United States remains one of the top destinations for international visitors from around the world," Francisco Sanchez, Commerce undersecretary for international trade, said in a statement.

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