July 14, 2014

Houston Boasts Fastest Growth in Foreign Visitors

Last year, Houston was visited by approximately 801,000 foreign travelers. That number marks a 22% increase from 2012 – an increase higher than any other city in the U.S.

Overall, Houston was the 12th most visited city in the country according to a report from the National Travel and Tourism Office of the Commerce Department. The report did not include visitors from Canada or Mexico, however.

Vice President of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jorge Franz credits Houston’s prestigious energy sector. “We are seeing record hotel occupancy numbers in Houston from the international markets...specifically, this has to do with executives coming to the city to learn about the latest developments in technology like underwater drilling, hydraulic fracturing and, increasingly, alternative energy technology and development," Franz said.

Domestically, Houston recently became the nation’s most diverse city. This is also a big factor in Houston’s draw for foreign visitors.

The large increase in visitors – both foreign and domestic – has prompted many hotels, convention centers and other travel and tourism-friendly industries to expand their presence in the city.

With all the growth going on in the Greater Houston area, don’t be surprised if the city becomes a staple on lists like this.