GBCVB, Massport Celebrate Record Number of International Visitors in 2014
International visitors to Bay State spent more than $1 billion more than 1.4 million overseas visitors came to Boston in 2014, a new record and the visitors spent more than $1 billion dollars, or $763, on average, per visit, according to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics. Massachusetts was the seventh most popular state to visit, trailing only New York, Florida, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Texas. The number of visitors was a 10 percent increase over 2013 and outpaced the U.S. as a whole, which was up 7.3 percent.
"The Commonwealth has a lot to offer the world whether people come here for business, leisure, or education,'' said Gov. Charlie Baker. "With new international nonstop flights to East and South Asia, Latin America and Europe, it is easier than ever to visit, work and study here.''
The statistics, which exclude Canada and Mexico, show that 2014 marked the first time that China became the top visitor market for air travelers visiting Boston. The city attracted 173,000 Chinese visitors, a 65 percent increase over 2013 and well above the national growth of 21 percent, due in large part to nonstop service to Beijing, which started in June 2014. The United Kingdom was second, with 159,000 visitors.
"Boston is an increasingly global city, and we will continue to support our tourism sector and make Boston a welcoming and thriving city for our visitors," said Mayor Walsh."
Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn said service to China has been growing rapidly since the first nonstop between Boston and Beijing started in June 2104. "Hainan Airlines nonstop service to Beijing is 14 months old and its success led to the airline making Boston the first U.S. city in its route to have nonstop service to Shanghai this June,'' said Glynn. "Cathay Pacific started service this year to Hong Kong, which should make 2015 statistics even better.''
U.S. National Travel and Tourism office forecasts the number of visitors from China will more than double in the next five years, and markets such as Boston with nonstop service will fare especially well. Nearly one in four Chinese visitors was here for education.
Pat Moscaritolo, the president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, said easy international air service benefits the local economy in many ways.
"The international visitors spent the equivalent of nearly 3.8 million room nights in Boston hotels and shopping was their top activity followed by sightseeing, art galleries and visiting historical locations,'' he said.
The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is the primary private sector marketing and visitor service organization charged with the development of meetings, conventions and tourism-related business. Our goal is to enhance the economy of Boston, Cambridge and the metropolitan area.
Massport owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field, and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose facilities generate more than $15 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth in New England. For more information visit www.massport.com
For Immediate Release
Aug. 21, 2015
Contact: Turner Skenderian, GBCVB
Jennifer Mehigan, Massport