Despite efforts to increase Houston's tourism caché, the fourth-largest city in the country ranks a dismal No. 16 among United States cities for overseas visitors. That figure derives from a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.
Houston welcomed 448,000 overseas tourists in 2010, representing a five percent increase from 2009. That one-digit boost pales in comparison to the 31 percent increase in Las Vegas or 33 percent increase in Los Angeles. (The Houston Business Journal was the first to report on these findings).
We're right above the Disneyland headquarters (and Rebecca Black stomping grounds) of Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif. More importantly, Houston ranks higher than Dallas-Plano-Irving, whose low 285,000 tourist count places it as No. 18. Business travel is not included in these findings.
The nation's big tourist contenders have maintained their spots at the peak of the list. The top 10 include (in descending order) New York City, LA, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Boston and Chicago.
As a whole, Texas ranks No. 9 among states for foreign tourists. The Lone Star State played host to 1,028,000 visitors in 2010 — a 14 percent increase from 2009, but that puts us just a notch above New Jersey.