WASHINGTON -- The U.S. hosted a record 24.2 million overseas
visitors in 1997 -- 7 percent more than in 1996, the Commerce
The number of western European travelers topped 10 million for
the first time, but the biggest percentage increases came from
South America, the Middle East and Africa.
The biggest percentage increases by country, all topping 20
percent, included Turkey, Columbia, Ecuador, Argentina and India.
Even Asia, despite its economic slump, saw its number of U.S.-bound
travelers rise 3 percent.
Japan continued to lead all countries with 5.4 million visitors.
The U.K. was second with 3.7 million, up 14.6 percent.