The number of overseas travelers using a tour package when visiting the United States last year was estimated at 5.7 million, a 26 percent increase over 2011. The share of all travelers using a package (including at minimum both air and lodging) increased to 19 percent, led by the Asian market, which increased from 28 to 35 percent. The data is from the Survey of International Air Travelers, compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce; it includes the following:
- Nearly 20 million overseas visitors cited leisure travel as the purpose of their trip, up 6 percent from 2011 and setting a record.
- The 3 million inbound convention travelers also set a record and represent a 63 percent increase over 2011.
- Business travel declined by 4 percent.
- The number of first-time travelers was down 11 percent. This actually reflects an increase in repeat travelers, which in turn typically indicates that more travelers ventured beyond the top destinations.
- The average length of stay was 17 nights, down from a record 18.1 nights in 2011. Visitors from China, though, stayed longer in 2012 than the year before.
- The top five destination states were New York, Florida, California, Hawaii and Nevada. Of the top 22 states, Ohio showed the biggest increase (up 28 percent).