In 2010, Houston and the Dallas-Plano-Irving area, both with international gateway airports into the state, also saw increases in overseas visitors. Houston’s visitation increased in volume 5 percent, with an additional 20,000 overseas visitors, and the Dallas-Plano-Irving area increased 20 percent, seeing an additional 58,000 overseas visitors.
“The international market is critically important to Texas, with nearly 10 percent of all visitors spending at destinations, or $4.3 billion, credited to the international markets,” said Julie Chase, Director of Tourism for the Office of the Texas Governor, Economic Development & Tourism Division, in a recent interview.
“Spending by international visitors provides significant economic stimulus for Texas, supporting almost 43,000 jobs and generating much needed state and local tax revenues. These numbers clearly demonstrate the benefit of promoting Texas internationally, particularly in countries such as the UK, Germany, Japan, China and Brazil,” said David Teel, Texas Travel Industry Association President and CEO.
The DOC report also noted: in 2010 overseas arrivals to the United States posted an 11 percent increase compared to 2009. The DOC projects overall international travel to the United States will continue experiencing strong growth through 2016. Visitor volume is expected to increase seven percent in 2011 and reach 64 million visitors who stay one or more nights in the United States.
“These numbers demonstrate that aggressively promoting Texas as a top-of-mind destination for overseas visitors is crucial to the Texas economy, the state’s travel and tourism industry, and communities throughout the state,” said Teel. “International travelers matter to Texas.”