California Experienced Massive Overseas Visitors Growth in 2014
Despite growing fears about the potential impact felt by the strength of the U.S. dollar, only New York and Florida drew more overseas visitors than California in 2014.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce via Hugo Martin of the Los Angeles Times, the Golden State welcomed 7.2 million visitors from overseas last year, signalling a whopping 11 percent increase over 2013. The average length of stay for an overseas visitor also increased, rising from 17.5 nights in 2013 to 18.4 nights in 2014.
What's more, California's premier destination, Los Angeles, hosted the third-most overseas visitors of any U.S. city in 2014, trailing only New York and Miami.
As far as the largest increase in overseas visitation among U.S. cities is concerned, San Diego (24 percent rise) trailed only Atlanta (25 percent rise).
And while California still trails New York, which hosted 9.98 million overseas visitors last year and has held down the top spot for more than a decade, the Empire State's growth in 2014 was minimal by comparison, with the state experiencing just a two percent rise in overseas visitors.
Meanwhile, second-place Florida welcomed 8.5 million overseas visitors in 2014.
Overall, tourism in California appears to be thriving. Last month, the state's tourism agency, Visit California reported that 53 of the state's 58 counties experienced an increase in direct spending by travelers in 2014, per Lori Weisberg of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Across the state, total spending on travel-related expenses including hotels, restaurants and transportation reached $117.5 billion in 2014, marking a 3.6 percent increase over the previous year.
More by Patrick Clarke
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