Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today issued the following statement on the news that a record number of tourists visited the U.S. last year.

“From hotels and restaurants to local retail shops and recreation sites, tourism is a powerful engine for job creation in Minnesota and across the country,” Klobuchar said. “This highlights how important tourism is to helping boost our local economies. I will continue to work to cut red tape without compromising important national security safeguards so that we can create more opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses.”

International tourism plays an important role in creating U.S. jobs and boosting local economies.  In Minnesota, tourism is the fifth largest industry in the state, generating $11 billion in annual sales and providing nearly 11% of total private sector employment. In 2010, each overseas visitor to the United States spent an average of $4,000 during their stay and total international travel spending supported 1.1 million American jobs.   Furthermore, the tourism industry added nearly 106,000 jobs in the first seven months of 2011, which represented 10 percent of all jobs created so far that year in the United States.