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Spending by international visitors keeps growing

September 1, 2011 | 10:12 am

Tourism spending in U.S.
And now for some good economic news: The U.S. continues to build a strong trade surplus in travel and tourism.

International visitors to the United States spent nearly $12.5 billion on travel to and tourism activities within the country in June, a 9% increase over the same month in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The latest numbers mark the 18th straight month of growth in international travel and tourism spending, which has increased by an average of more than $1.3 billion per month.

In the first six months of the year, visitors to the country spent $73.5 billion on travel to and tourism-related activities in the U.S., according to the Commerce Department. In the same period, Americans traveling abroad spent $53.6 billion, creating a travel and tourism trade surplus of $19.9 billion.

Previous reports show that Los Angeles is the second-most-popular destination for foreign visitors, behind New York.

-- Hugo Martin