U.S. vacationers heading to destinations across the globe have a reason to celebrate after slashing travel bills.
Tourism officials say this month was one of the strongest ever for visitors from America coming to their countries, The Associated Press reported.
The United Kingdom has welcomed more than 500,000 U.S. visitors so far this year, up by more than 100,000 from this time last year. Cruise ships, airline sales, and hotel stays helped make a favorable uptick.
A difference was clear when a large crowd gathered in Ireland this month to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. A bunch of Americans, some in ties and others in shorts, gathered along some of the routes taken by Ireland’s patron saint in a tradition started in 1919.
In Canada, the government credited deals on charter flights with making it the best destination so far this year. The Canadian Tourism Commission said in a statement that arrivals are up by 30 percent from March of last year, while arrivals in the same period of 2016 were up just 2 percent. The agency also credited Internet sales for the boost.
And Hawaii’s Hawaii Tourism Authority board applauded American visitors at a meeting Tuesday. In its own message, the agency said a record number of 4.76 million visitors came to the islands in the first quarter of this year.
The New York Times reported about a few other countries that are seeing increases in visitors this year. Chile was up a whopping 85 percent in March from the year before, while Mexico was up 14 percent and Canada was up 10 percent from the same time last year.
Greater Britain reportedly had 657,000 foreign visitors between January and March of this year, up 37 percent from last year.
People traveling from their native countries to visit other destinations seem happy about the drop in costs this year.
U.S. companies are turning more toward the travel and entertainment business as they see fewer people working in their industries.
According to Forbes, an estimated 15 percent of the U.S. economy is now in tourism. Half of all hotel rooms in the United States are occupied.
United Airlines’ recent purchase of a Hong Kong-based charter carrier, Asiana Airlines, will make United one of the largest aviation companies in the world.
“It’s a sign of how this industry has matured and where travel is going,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said.
Click for more from The Associated Press.