Tourism in the United States
Tourism in the United States is a large industry that serves millions of international and domestic tourists yearly. Foreigners visit the U.S. to see natural wonders, cities, historic landmarks, and entertainment venues. Americans seek similar attractions, as well as recreation and vacation areas.
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Tourism in the United States grew rapidly in the form of urban tourism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the 1850s, tourism in the United States was well established both as a cultural activity and as an industry. New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, all major U.S. cities, attracted numerous tourists since the 1890s. By 1915, city touring had marked significant shifts in the way Americans perceived, organized, and moved.
Democratization of travel occurred during the early twentieth century when the automobile revolutionized travel. Similarly air travel revolutionized travel during 1945–1969, contributing greatly to tourism in the United States. Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $10.9 billion during February 2013.
The travel and tourism industries in the United States were among the first economic sectors negatively affected by the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In the U.S., tourism is among the three largest employers in 29 states, employing 7.3 million in 2004, to take care of 1.19 billion trips tourists took in the U.S. in 2005. As of 2007, there are 2,462 registered National Historic Landmarks (NHL) recognized by the United States government. As of 2018, New York City is the most visited destination in the United States, followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Chicago.
Tourists spend more money in the United States than any other country, while attracting the third-highest number of tourists after France and Spain. The discrepancy may be explained by longer stays in the US.