Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Give me your yen, your peso, your euro, yearning to be spent freely

More than 140,000 Washingtonians had a job to go to last year thanks in large measure to the tourists who pumped more than $15 billion into the Evergreen State economy.

And actually, everyone else here also benefited because these visitors kicked in $1 billion for state and local taxes. Check these reports from the state Department of Commerce, as well as information from the Washington State Tourism industry.

Things are looking up, way up, for tourism all across the land. In fact, a recent Los Angeles Times story, "Spending by foreign tourists at record level," discusses very encouraging new details in a recent report from the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. Folks from around the globe are on their way to spending more in the United States than foreign visitors have ever spent here before.

Spending from international tourism, according to predictions from the travel and tourism office, might very well top $152 billion in 2011. Such a mark would eclipse the previous top standard of $141 billion rung up in 2008.

Take this past October, for instance. The federal agency noted that foreign visitors plunked down $3.1 billion that month to travel to the United States -- and then spent upward of $10 billion buying things and doing stuff after they got here. That October 2011 figure was a 13-percent increase over the same month a year ago.

It's also estimated that Canada (31 percent), Mexico (13 percent), China (10 percent), and Brazil (7 percent) will make up two-thirds of the expected climb in international visitation to the United States the next five years.
M/V Tacoma
Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation.
The Washington Ferry System, a very popular tourist attraction, is the
largest ferry system in the world carrying nearly 23 million riders per year. 
To read this story in Spanish, click here.