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Simply put, the increased traffic is a healthy sign for both inbound and outbound tourism activity in the U.S.

Last year was a record one for international air travel in and out of the United States.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel & Tourism Office, 185.4 million passengers arrived or departed from U.S. airports, a 4% increase over the previous year. Those passengers flew through a few key airports, both domestic and abroad.

Of the foreign airports funneling passengers in and out of the U.S. ten of them were responsible for 40% of all the traffic. London’s Heathrow Airport was the undisputed leader, with over 14 million passengers going to and from the U.S. It’s a good 30% greater than its nearest competitor, Toronto’s Pearson International. Two airports in Mexico — Cancun and Mexico City — saw the greatest increase in traffic in 2013, a good sign for tourism in the country.

Top 10 Foreign Airports:

Rank Airport Passengers (millions) % Change YoY
1. London Heathrow (LHR) 14.357 2.1%
2. Toronto (YYZ) 10.875 4.5%
3. Tokyo Narita (NRT) 9.597 -0.1%
4. Frankfurt (FRT) 6.695 1.9%
5. Paris/de Gaulle (CDG) 6.383 4.7%
6. Cancun (CUN) 6.176 7.3%
7. Mexico City (MEX) 5.942 8.9%
8. Incheon (ICT) 5.035 5.7%
9. Amsterdam (AMS) 4.601 5.1%
10. Vancouver (YVR) 4.440 0.4%

Source: The National Travel & Tourism Office

Among U.S. airports, the top ten respresented a dominant share of the international traffic. From New York’s JFK, to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, 129.9 million Passengers or 70% of the total air traffic, flowed through the leaders. Dallas, Chicago’s O’Hare, and JFK saw the greatest increase in traffic, while New York-Newark remained relatively flat.

Top 10 U.S. Airports:

Rank Airport Passengers (millions) % Change YoY
1. New York (JFK) 26.662 5.4%
2. Miami (MIA) 20.118 4.7%
3. Los Angeles (LAX) 17.753 3.7%
4. Newark (EWR) 11.587 1.1%
5. Chicago (ORD) 11.183 5.1%
6. Atlanta (ATL) 10.228 4.0%
7. San Francisco (SFO) 9.698 3.7%
8. Houston (IAH) 9.030 3.5%
9. Washington Dulles (IAD) 6.931 4.2%
10. Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW) 6.686 11.3%

Source: The National Travel & Tourism Office

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Tags: atl, dallas, dfw, ewr, fra, heathrow, iad, jfk, lax, lhr, mexico, mia, ord, tokyo, tourism

Photo credit: Dallas-Fort Worth Airport saw the greatest increase in international travel of any U.S. airport. Joyce Marshall / Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT

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