Seattle did well, due in part to some new air service. The trend might repeat for 2008 and 2009 since we keep adding air service, our cruise industry is still growing, and we seem to have taken hold as a good second-tier destination. An article from the Seattle Post Intelligencer:
Overseas travel to Seattle jumps 25 percent in 2007
P-I reporter Moises Mendoza reports:
International visitors to Seattle increased by 25 percent last year compared with 2006, according to a federal report released Monday.
Six major U.S. cities saw increases in the double digits, but Seattle had among the biggest jumps - from 325,000 to 406,000 last year. Washington saw a 16 percent increase in foreign visitors to 454,000 last year.
While Seattle gets a lot of Canadian tourists attracted by the declining value of the U.S. dollar, officials say many of the new visitors are coming from Europe and Asia.
That's because international airlines have added capacity on routes to Seattle, says Don Welsh, president and CEO of Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau.
British Airways and Air France recently introduced new flights to Seattle, and there are also new flights to China.
A bigger state tourism budget and an economy that's stronger than other parts of the country may also be driving some of the increase, Walsh said. Local businesses say they're witnessing more overseas tourists first-hand.
"For us, the increase seems to primarily be coming from Asian countries," said Dave Mandapat, a Space Needle spokesman.
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