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 entertainment 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 to 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.
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[which?], 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.
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SUNIL NARAYANAN, Global Foundries, MALTA New York State. USA