US Tourism Up, Reflects Food and Drink Inflation

The increase in spending was driven by higher food and accommodation prices

It's a good news, bad news situation: A new report showed that U.S. tourism and travel spending went up in the fourth quarter, undoubtedly boosted by record-breaking numbers of foreign tourists visiting the U.S. The cause? A rise in food, drink, and accommodation prices — bad news for those trying to save a buck while traveling.

Overall tourism spending for 2011 was $153 billion, and increased 1 percent to 4.6 percent growth from the year before. The biggest reason for the rising numbers was inflation for tourist-related services — food and drink, notably, as well as hotel accommodations. However, overall inflation for such services has slowed; in the last quarter, prices grew 1.2 percent from 5.6 percent in the third quarter.

Plus, the number of tourists who came stateside reached 62.3 million (you weren't wrong when you thought there were more tourists on the subway).