Travel & Culture in The US
The United States is still the place more tourists want to visit than any other on Earth.
For many years, the impressive array of travel destinations and wide variety of different holidays on offer in the US, has driven international demand, making the country the global Number 1 choice.
The reasons are plentiful, but key is the fact that the country simply has something to offer every type of modern traveler. From ski fields, to beach resorts, to historical attractions and the world's best theme parks, it is easy to understand the appeal for backpackers, jet-setters, young families and even retirees.
The figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council tell their own story. More than twice the number of people showed a preference for visiting the US than China, in second place, itself almost double the likes of Germany and France in 3rd and 4th respectively.
The US also boasts the 2nd largest growth in job creation in its Travel and Tourism sector, employing an extra 2.4 million people year-on-year, to its already burgeoning industry, both at a local and inter-state level, plus the billions of dollars of revenue and tax receipts that are generated through the sector every single year. In fact the Travel industry creates one of the biggest trade surplus of any economic sector in the whole country. In 2005, tax revenue alone in this sector stood at an incredible $99bn for federal, state and local governments.
These statistics demonstrate the dynamism of the US travel and tourism industry and how essential a strong travel sector is to the US. And furthermore, why the pre-eminent tourist organizations, the Travel Business Roundtable and the Travel Industry Association of America, have recently (2005) joined forces to work together to protect their own interests and lobby the government to ensure that the US does not suffer a backlash from the perceived deteriorating image of the country overseas, or any other threat.
No industry was more greatly affected than Travel by the events of September 11th, 2001. However, the recovery from that day, although slow to start, has since been steady and appreciable.
Both the size and the growth of this market is unsurprising, given the veritable Pot Pourri of destinations and attractions on offer for visitors. In terms of Parks alone, travelers have the choice of National treasures such as Yosemite, The Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. Then there are State Parks such as the Niagara Falls, or Inner-City areas such as Central Park or the Smithsonian. Monuments such as Mount Rushmore are also considered part of a National Park, and that's not even mentioning the family orientated Theme Parks like Coney Island, Universal Studios, Sea World and of course Disney World.
Drivers can revel in the legend of Route 66, although if going through one of the fabulous wine regions in California, it's a good idea to let someone else do the driving. And who wouldn't want to experience a few days taking in shows, casinos and some shopping in Las Vegas? Then there are the ski fields of Colorado; Native American experiences with Navajo Indians; Ranch living with 'real-life' cowboys; the music and magic of Country & Western towns in the South; Dutch Country Pennsylvania; Experience Outer Space at Kennedy Space Centre; and enjoying the biggest, loudest and brightest sports events on Earth at venues such as Madison Square Gardens, Caeser's Palace or any one of a dozen famous ball parks. Plus, of course there is the Hollywood lifestyle in Los Angeles. Itself a wonderful generator of tourism interest in the US, through consistently appetizing portrayals of cities such as New York, LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas and Washington on television and in the movies.
As long as the US can continue presenting such a variation of attractions, appealing to travelers, young and old, rich and poor, from all backgrounds, it is guaranteed to retain its position... as the World's favorite.