Foreign tourists break spending record, says Commerce Department

By Danny King
International tourists visiting the U.S. increased spending 9% in 2013 to a record $180.7 billion, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Friday.

Inbound tourists boosted spending on lodging, food, entertainment and local transportation by almost 11% to $139.6 billion. Airfare receipts from overseas travelers visiting the U.S. increased almost 5%, to $41.2 billion.

Tourism accounts for almost 8% of total U.S. exports.

The Commerce Department said in December that 2013 international visitor numbers would increase 3% from a record 67 million in 2012.

Last year, President Obama set a goal for the U.S. to attract 100 million international visitors per year by 2021.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.

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