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This is a list of American cities with the highest number of visitors in 2007 as publshed in Forbes Magazine:

1. Los Angeles, 58.6 million
2. Orlando, 47.8 m
3. New York, 44 m
4. Chicago, 41.3 m
5. Las Vegas, 38.9 m
6. Atlanta, 37 m
7. Washington, 36.9 m
8. San Diego, 32.2 m
9. Houston, 31 m
10. Philadelphia, 27.7 m
11. Dallas, 22.3 m
12. (tie) Phoenix, 21.7 m
Indianapolis, 21.7 m
14. St Louis, 20.3 m
15. San Antonio, 20 m
16. Miami, 19.7 m
17. Austin, 19 m
18. Anaheim, 18.4 m
19. Minneapolis/St Paul, 18.3 m
20. Boston, 17.6 m

When I first saw this list, I was convinced there had to be errors.
For example, San Francisco isn't even listed among the top 20. How could that be? Then I checked the website for San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and was amazed to discover that the city reports 15.7 million annual visitors...placing it below the top 20.
I was also skeptical that Indianapolis could tie for the 12'th most visited American city. Then I considered the countless annual auto racing events held in the city, and the fact that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway can technically accomodate upwards of 400,000 persons.
So I guess Forbes did their research. Still, the list is surprising.
 

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There sure are some real intresting cities on that list that leave you second guessing. :dunno: After Las Vegas it gets interesting.
 

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Journeyman
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Chances are it's not a scientific list at all. They probably got numbers from local visitor bureaus. Anyone with a pulse knows that local visitor bureaus all use different methodologies, and their numbers aren't comparable.
 

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What, does that strike you as being odd?
You're being sarcastic, right? I wonder if this includes Airport Traffic as people visiting the city. It doesn't seem to make much sense to me that more people visit Atlanta than Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, or Miami...the top five all seem to make sense, but other than that I don't know what to think.
 

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This is just a rehashing of visitor bureau-"created" statistics. They all use different methodologies. Add to that the fact that it's nearly impossible to count people who actually visit a "place" from some other "place", and a list like this is useless.

A better idea for Forbes is to do a scientific poll of random Americans and ask them to list all of the cities that they've been to on business, vacation, or visiting friends/relatives, and rank them based on which were named most often. Or rather give a list of the 30 largest metros or so and ask them if they've ever visited any of them (other than driving/flying through)
 

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1981 Civic
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You're being sarcastic, right? I wonder if this includes Airport Traffic as people visiting the city. It doesn't seem to make much sense to me that more people visit Atlanta than Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, or Miami...the top five all seem to make sense, but other than that I don't know what to think.
No, I'm not being sarcastic. Because there couldn't possibly be anything to do in little ol' Indy, right?

It's just a damn list, people. It doesn't mean anything.
 

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New York City is definitely the most visited city in the U.S., so that makes no sense, and how on Earth is Miami so low on that list? Miami is definitely one of the most visited cities in the U.S.!
 

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Mostly Sane
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Yeah, weird list. The Mall of America in Minneapolis/St.Paul alone registers an average of 39 million visitors a year, 40% of which are tourists, making it's contribution to the MSP area about 16 million just by itself.
 

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Some of the list may be due to counting visits by air. New York may lose some votes because one of its major air hubs is in New Jersey. Also do they keep track of visits by car? Does anyone have the listing of numbers of hotel guests for each city?
 

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^^ No way. I bet they'd never count a New Yorker traveling into Philly or Boston by train. Someone from San Diego taking a drive up into LA to spend some cash wouldn't be counted as well probably. These lists are for pure entertainment now. I look forward to the bickering that comes out of threads like these.
 

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1981 Civic
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^^ No way. I bet they'd never count a New Yorker traveling into Philly or Boston by train. Someone from San Diego taking a drive up into LA to spend some cash wouldn't be counted as well probably. These lists are for pure entertainment now. I look forward to the bickering that comes out of threads like these.
Yeah, me too. I love how people overanalyze some of the most trivial things in life.
 

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The Department of Commerce has a list which shows ranking based on foreign travel (not including Cananda and Mexico). The most recent year I could find for data was 2003.

http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/a-2003-401/index.html

"The top 10 destinations visited by overseas travelers in 2003 were: New York City (4.0 million), Los Angeles (2.1 million), Miami (2.1million), Orlando (1.8 million), San Francisco (1.7 million), Honolulu (1.6 million), Las Vegas (1.3 million), Washington, DC (865,000), Chicago (775,000), and Boston (757,000). Like the states, over time there have been numerous shifts in the top destinations visited. New York City and Los Angeles have held the number one and two positions for many years."

The foreign travel numbers seem to look like what most people would expect. The following link is to their chart showing the top cities table.

http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/f-2003-45-561/index.html
 

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Journeyman
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Yeah, weird list. The Mall of America in Minneapolis/St.Paul alone registers an average of 39 million visitors a year, 40% of which are tourists, making it's contribution to the MSP area about 16 million just by itself.
Do they list specifically what the geographic boundary is between a local and a tourist? My guess is it's out of the metro area.

MOA gets a huge number of visitors from a 100 or 200 mile radius, many of whom visit again and again. I bet they count as "tourists", and comprise the majority of MOA's tourist figures.
 
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