Taking a summer vacation as a reward for working hard all year long is ingrained in the American culture. But the significance of these annual trips goes far beyond refreshing one’s mental health. Local economies depend on tourism dollars to thrive, and, in some cases, just to function. In 2009, tourists spent $27.6 billion in Orlando alone, and the tourism industry provided 380,000 jobs — and that’s before the Wizarding World of Harry Potter even arrived on the scene.
24/7 Wall St. collaborated with hotel industry research firm STR and premiere travel blog Travelogged to identify the country’s 10 most popular summer tourist destinations.