Tourism in the United States


Tourism in the United States

Tourism in the United States is a large industry that serves millions of international and domestic tourists yearly. Tourists visit the US to see natural wonders, cities, historic landmarks and gambling venues. Americans seek similar attractions, as well as recreation and vacation areas. Tourism in the United States grew rapidly in the form of urban tourism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the 1850s, tourism in the United States was well-established both as a cultural activity and as an industry. New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, all major US cities, attracted a large number of tourists by the 1890s. By 1915, city touring had marked significant shifts in the way Americans perceived, organized and moved around in urban environments. Democratization of travel occurred during the early twentieth century when the automobile revolutionized travel. Similarly air travel revolutionized travel during 1945–1969, contributing greatly to tourism in the United States. By 2007 the number of international tourists had climbed to over 56 million people who spent $122.7 billion dollars, setting an all time record. [Citation
publication-date = March 10, 2008
title = 2007 Sets All Time International Tourism Record for U.S.
url = http://www.commerce.gov/NewsRoom/PressReleases_FactSheets/PROD01_005355
accessdate = 2008-06-28
]

The travel and tourism industry in the United States was among the first commercial casualties of the September 11, 2001 attacks, a series of terrorist attacks on the US. Terrorists used four commercial airliners as weapons of destruction, all of which were destroyed in the attacks with 3,000 casualties. In the US, tourism is either the first, second or third largest employer in 29 states, employing 7.3 million in 2004, to take care of 1.19 billion trips tourists took in the US in 2005. As of 2007, there are 2,462 registered National Historic Landmarks (NHL) recognized by the United States government. As of 2008, the most visited tourist attraction in the US is Times Square in Manhattan, New York City which attracts approximately 35 million visitors yearly.

History

19th century

The rise of urban tourism in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries represented a major cultural transformation concerning urban space, leisure and commercialization. By the 1850s, tourism in the United States was well-established both as a cultural activity and as an industry.Citation
last = Sears
first = John F.
title = Sacred Places: American Tourist Attractions in the Nineteenth Century
publisher = University of Massachusetts Press
page = 123
year = 1998
isbn = 1558491627
] Although travel agents and package tours did not exist until the 1870s and 1880s, entrepreneurs of various sorts from hotel keepers and agents for railroad lines to artists and writers recognized the profit to be gained from the prospering tourism industry. The rise of locomotive steam-powered trains during the 1800s enabled tourists to travel more easily and quickly. [Citation
publication-date = July 19, 1868
title = Summer Travel
periodical = New York Times
url = http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9C02E1D71230EE34BC4152DFB1668383679FDE
accessdate = 2008-05-18
] In the United States 2,800 miles of track had been completed by 1840, by 1860 all major eastern US cities were linked by rail, and by 1869 the first trans-American railroad link was completed. [Citation
last = Standeven
first = Joy
last2 = de Knop
first2 = Paul
title = Sport Tourism
publisher = Human Kinetics
page = 20
year = 1999
isbn = 0873228537
] Yosemite Park was developed as a tourist attraction in the late 1850s and early 1860s for an audience who wanted a national icon and place to symbolize exotic wonder of its region. Photography played an important role for the first time in the development of tourist attractions, making it possible to distribute hundreds of images showing various places of interest.

New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, all major US cities, attracted a large number of tourists by the 1890s.Citation
last = Cocks
first = Catherine
title = Doing the Town: The Rise of Urban Tourism in the United States, 1850-1915
publisher = University of California Press
pages = 6-7
year = 2001
isbn = 0520227468
] New York's population grew from 300,000 in 1840 to 800,000 in 1850. [Citation
last = Cocks
first = Catherine
pages = 6-7
] Chicago experienced a dramatic increase from 4,000 residents in 1840 to 300,000 by 1870. Dictionaries first published the word 'tourist' sometime in 1800, when it referred to those going to Europe or making a round trip of natural wonders in New York and New England. The absence of urban tourism during the nineteenth century was in part because American cities lacked the architecture and art which attracted thousands to Europe. American cities tended to offend the sensitive with ugliness and commercialism rather than inspire awe or aesthetic pleasure. [Citation
last = Cocks
first = Catherine
page = 11
] Some tourists were fascinated by the rapid growth of the new urban areas: "It is an absorbing thing to watch the process of world-making; both the formation of the natural and the conventional world," wrote English writer Harriet Martineau in 1837.Citation
last = Sears
first = John F.
page = 87
]

As American cities developed, new institutions to accommodate and care for the insane, disabled and criminal were constructed. The Hatford, Connecticut American School for the Deaf opened in 1817, Ossining, New York state prison in 1825, the Connecticut State Penitentiary at Wethersfield in 1827, Mount Auburn Cemetery in 1831, the Perkins School for the Blind in 1832, and the Worcester State Hospital in 1833. [Citation
last = Sears
first = John F.
page = 11
] These institutions attracted the curiosity of American and foreign visitors. The English writer and actress Fanny Kemble was an admirer of the American prison system who was also concerned that nature was being destroyed in favor of new developments. Guidebooks published in the 1830s, 40s and 50s described new prisons, asylums and institutions for the deaf and blind, and urged tourists to visit these sights.Citation
last = Sears
first = John F.
page = 89
] Accounts of these visits written by Charles Dickens, Harriet Martineau, Lydia Sigourney and Caroline Gilman were published in magazines and travel books. Sigourney's "Scenes in My Native Land" (1845) included descriptions of her tour of Niagara Falls and other places of scenic interest with accounts of her visits to prisons and asylums. Many visited these institutions because nothing like them had existed before.Citation
last = Sears
first = John F.
page = 90
] The buildings which housed them were themselves monumental, often placed on hilltops as a symbol of accomplishment.

Early 20th century

By 1915, city touring had marked significant shifts in the way Americans perceived, organized and moved around in urban environments. Urban tourism became a profitable industry in 1915 as the number of tour agencies, railroad passenger departments, guidebook publishers and travel writers grew at a fast pace. The expense of pleasure tours meant that only the minority of Americans between 1850 and 1915 could experience the luxury of tourism. Many Americans traveled to find work, but few found time for enjoyment of the urban environment. As transportation networks improved, the length of commuting decreased, and income rose. A growing number of Americans were able to afford short vacations by 1915. Still, mass tourism was not possible until after World War II.

During the nineteenth century, tourism of any form had been available only to the upper and middle classes. This changed during the early twentieth century through the democratization of travel. In 1895, popular publications printed articles showing the car was cheaper to operate than the horse. [Citation
last = Lay
first = M. G.
last2 = Vance
first2 = James E.
title = Ways of the World: A History of the World's Roads and of the Vehicles That Used Them
publisher = Rutgers University Press
page = 174
year = 1992
isbn = 0813526914
] The development of automobiles in the early 1900s included the introduction of the Ford Model T in 1908. In 1900, 8,000 cars were registered in the US, which increased to 619,000 by 1911.Citation
last = Lay
first = M. G.
last2 = Vance
first2 = James E.
page = 170
] By the time of the Model T's introduction in 1908, there were 44 US households per car. Early cars were a luxury for the wealthy, but after Ford began to dramatically drop prices after 1913, more were able to afford one. [Citation
last = Lay
first = M. G.
last2 = Vance
first2 = James E.
page = 180
]

The development of hotels with leisure complexes had become a popular development during the 1930s in the United States.Citation
last = Standeven
first = Joy
last2 = de Knop
first2 = Paul
page = 31
] The range of "club" type holidays available appealed to a broad segment of the holiday market. As more families traveled independently by car, hotels failed to cater to their needs. Kemmons Wilson opened the first motel as a new form of accommodation in Memphis, Tennessee in 1952.

during the early 1900s, it was not until after World War II that the tourist industry quickly became Florida's largest source of income. [Citation
last = Viele
first = John
year = 1996
page = 135
title = The Florida Keys: A History of the Pioneers
publisher = Pineapple Press
isbn = 1561641014
] Florida's white sandy beaches, hot summer temperatures and wide range of activities such as swimming, fishing, boating and hiking all attracted tourists to the state. During the 1930s, architects designed Art Deco style buildings in Miami Beach.Citation
last = Cerwinske
first = Laura
last2 = Kaminsky
first2 = David
year = 1981
title =Tropical Deco: The Architecture and Design of Old Miami Beach
publisher = Rizzoli
isbn = 0847803457
] Visitors are still attracted to the Art Deco district of Miami, Florida. Theme parks were soon built across Florida. One of the largest resorts in the world, the Walt Disney World Resort, was opened in Orlando, Florida in 1971.Citation
last = Grant
first = Kim
last2 = Penland
first2 = Paige R.
year = January 2003
edition = 3rd
page = 27
title = Florida
publisher = Lonely Planet Publications
isbn = 1740591364
] In its first year, the 28,000-acre park added $14 billion to Orlando's economy.

Late 20th century

The revolution of air travel between 1945 and 1969 contributed greatly to tourism in the United States. In that quarter century, commercial aviation evolved from 28-passenger airliners flying at less than 200 mph to 150-passenger jetliners cruising continents at 600 mph.Citation
last = Yenne
first = Bill
title = Classic American Airliners
publisher = Zenith Imprint
page = 8
year = 2005
isbn = 0760319316
] During this time, air travel in the US evolved from a novelty into a routine for business travelers and vacationers alike. Rapid developments in aviation technology, economic prosperity in the United States and the demand for air travel all contributed to the early beginnings of commercial aviation in the US. During the first four decades of the twentieth century, long-haul journeys between large American cities were accomplished using trains. By the 1950s, air travel was part of every-day life for many Americans. The tourism industry in the US experienced exponential growth as tourists could travel almost anywhere with a fast, reliable and routine system. For some, a vacation in Hawaii was now a more frequent pleasure. Air travel changed everything from family vacations to Major League Baseball, as had steam-powered trains in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

By the end of the twentieth century, tourism had significantly grown throughout the world. The World Tourism Organisation (WTO, 1998) recorded that, in 1950, arrivals of tourists from abroad, excluding same-day visits, numbered about 25.2 million.Citation
last = Ryan
first = Chris
title = Recreational tourism: Demand and Impacts
publisher = Channel View Publications
page = 18
year = 2003
isbn = 1873150563
] By 1997, the figure was 612.8 million. In 1950 receipts from international movements were US$2.1 billion, in 1997 they were $443.7 billion.

21st century

The travel and tourism industry in the United States was among the first commercial casualties of the September 11, 2001 attacks, a series of terrorist attacks on the US. Terrorists used four commercial airliners as weapons of destruction, all of which were destroyed in the attacks with 3,000 casualties.Citation
last = Mak
first = James
title = Tourism and the Economy: understanding the economics of tourism
publisher = University of Hawaii Press
page = 193
year = 2003
isbn = 0824827899
] In the first full week after flights resumed, passenger numbers fell by nearly 45 percent, from 9 million in the week before September 11 to 5 million. Hotels and travel agencies received cancellations across the world. The hotel industry suffered an estimated $700 million loss in revenue during the four days following the attacks. The situation recovered over the following months as the Federal Reserve kept the financial system afloat. The U.S. Congress issued a $5 billion grant to the nation's airlines and $10 billion in loan guarantees to keep them flying.

In the US, tourism is either the first, second or third largest employer in 29 states, employing 7.3 million in 2004, to take care of 1.19 billion trips tourists took in the US in 2005. [Citation
last = Parks
first = Janet B.
first2 = Quaterman
last2 = Jerome
first3 = Thibault
last3 = Lucie
title = Contemporary sport management
publisher = Human Kinetics
page = 142
year = 2007
isbn = 073606365X
] The US outbound holiday market is sensitive in the short term, but possibly one of the most surprising results from the September 11, 2001 attacks was that by February 2002 it had bounced back for overseas travel, especially to destinations like New Zealand. This quick revival was generally quicker than many commentators had predicted only five months earlier. [Citation
last = Ryan
first = Chris
page = 28
]

The United States economy began to slow significantly in 2007, mostly because of a real-estate slump, gas prices and related financial problems.Citation
year = 2008
title = United States Economy
periodical = New York Times
url = http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/united_states_economy/index.html
accessdate = May 19, 2008
] Many economists believe that the economy entered a recession at the end of 2007 or early in 2008. Some state budgets for tourism marketing have decreased, such as Connecticut which is facing soaring gas prices. [Citation
publication-date = May 18, 2008
title = Trying to Sell Europeans on Connecticut Charm
periodical = New York Times
url = http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/18tourismct.html
accessdate = May 19, 2008
]

Attractions

Today, a wide range of tourist attractions exist in the United States such as amusement parks, festivals, gambling, golf courses, historical buildings and landmarks, hotels, museums, galleries, outdoor recreation, spas, restaurants and sports. In 2008, the most visited tourist sites in the US were:

Landmarks

As of 2007, there are 2,462 registered National Historic Landmarks (NHL) recognized by the United States government.Citation
publication-date = November 2007
date = March 6, 2008
title = List of National Historical Landmarks by State
publisher = U.S. Department of the Interior
url =http://www.nps.gov/nhl/designations/Lists/LIST07.pdf
accessdate = May 19, 2008
] The majority of these are located in New York, California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Each major US city has thousands of landmarks. For example, New York City has 23,000 landmarks designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. These landmarks include various individual buildings, interiors, historic districts, and scenic sites which define the culture and character of New York City. [Citation
last =
first =
title = Guide to New York City Landmarks
publisher = John Wiley & Sons
page =
year = 2003
isbn = 0471369004
]

Natural wonders

The Grand Canyon is one of the most well known landmarks in the US. Other landmarks include Mt. Rushmore, the Apalachians, the Rocky Mountains, and Stone Mountain.

Sport

Since the 1960s, sport has become an international affair, attracting a considerable amount of media attention, revenue, participants and political interest. Estimates of the US sports industry's size vary from $213 billionCitation
year = 2008
title = The Sports Industry
periodical = SportsBusiness Journal
publisher = Street & Smith's
url = http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.feature&featureId=1492
accessdate = May 19, 2008
] to $410 billion. [Citation
year = 2007
title = Sports Statistics
periodical = Plunkett's Sports Industry Almanac
publisher = Plunkett Research
url = http://www.plunkettresearch.com/Industries/Sports/SportsStatistics/tabid/273/Default.aspx
accessdate = May 19, 2008
] In 1997, 25% of tourism receipts in the United States were related to sports tourism; this would have valued the market at approximately $350 billion annually. [Citation
last = Standeven
first = Joy
last2 = de Knop
first2 = Paul
page = 176
] The nature of the sport's media relationship has been distinctly shaped by the emergence of American capitalism since the 1830s. [Citation
last = Wenner
first = Lawrence A.
title = Media, Sports, and Society: Foundations for the Communication of Sport
publisher = SAGE
page = 49
year = 1989
isbn = 0803932448
] Sports in the United States have attracted tourists for many decades. The 1997 New York City Marathon attracted 12,000 visitors from outside the US of 28,000 participants. [Citation
last = Standeven
first = Joy
last2 = de Knop
first2 = Paul
page = vii
]

Statistics

Arrivals

Expenditure

Forecast

The U.S. Department of Commerce forecasts: (in thousands)

See also

* Tourism in present-day nations and states

References

External links

* [http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/ Office of Travel and Tourism Industries]


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