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Posted at 8:26 AM ET, 05/19/2010

Foreign visitors flock to region

By Washington Post editors

The Washington region welcomed tens of thousands more overseas visitors in 2009 than the year before, bucking a national trend during the worst stretch for the U.S. tourism industry since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Washington Examiner reports.

The number of foreign travelers visiting Virginia ballooned from 329,000 in 2008 to 380,000 in 2009, according to a new report published by the U.S. Commerce Department. That 16 percent growth spurt was the largest among U.S. states last year.

Maryland and the District saw international tourism rates rise 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively. The number of foreign tourists visiting Maryland jumped from 253,000 to 261,000, and D.C.'s number increased from 1.47 million to 1.54 million visitors.

The United States, by contrast, saw 3 million fewer overseas visitors in 2009, a 6 percent drop from the year before.

By Washington Post editors  | May 19, 2010; 8:26 AM ET
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