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Top 10 states for tourism

CNBC logo CNBC 7/13/2015 By Kenneth Kiesnoski


Bixby Bridge on highway One, near the Rocky Big Sur coastline, of the Pacific Ocean California, USA.© Paul Giamou/Getty Images Bixby Bridge on highway One, near the Rocky Big Sur coastline, of the Pacific Ocean California, USA.  Travel and tourism can be big business for many states—and not just the usual vacation suspects, such as Florida and Hawaii. For example, Michigan's "Pure Michigan" promotional campaign attracted 4 million holiday-makers spending $1.2 billion to the Great Lakes State in 2013, according to research firm Longwoods International. Not surprisingly, then, state governments apportion a fair amount of money to marketing and promoting their attractions and destinations to potential visitors both abroad and here at home in the U.S.

CNBC takes a look at the 10 states that had the biggest tourism advertising and promotion budgets for the 2013–14 fiscal year, the latest figures available from the U.S. Travel Association. To add some context as to how much bang each state got for the tourism promotion bucks it spent, we also note its standing in terms of popularity with both American travelers and overseas visitors in 2014, according to, respectively, online accommodations emporium HotelsCombined.com and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Note: Overseas figures exclude visitors from Canada and Mexico. Latest Alaska overseas ranking available is for the year 2000.

Click ahead for the top 10 states for tourism.

10. Alaska

Two seaplanes parked at a harbor, Ketchikan, Alaska© Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images Two seaplanes parked at a harbor, Ketchikan, Alaska Total advertising and promotion budget: $18,074,612

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 34

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 36

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

9. Virginia

Fife and Drum Corps marching with capital building in background  at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA© Bob Stefko/Getty Images Fife and Drum Corps marching with capital building in background at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA Total advertising and promotion budget: $18,609,264

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 6

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 18

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

8. Arizona

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA.© Moment/Getty Images Monument Valley, Arizona, USA. Total advertising and promotion budget: $23,286,654

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 8

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 12

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

7. New York

New York City Times Square at Dusk© Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images New York City Times Square at Dusk Total advertising and promotion budget: $30,709,688

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 5

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 1

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

6. Michigan

Charlevoix, Michigan, Pine River Channel© Stephen Saks/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images Charlevoix, Michigan, Pine River Channel Total advertising and promotion budget: $32,306,752

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 31

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 20

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

5. Texas

The front facade of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas© Straublund Photography/Getty Images The front facade of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas Total advertising and promotion budget: $43,361,910

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 4

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 6

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

4. Illinois

The north loop Chicago skyline reflected in the Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL© Bruce Leighty/Getty Images The north loop Chicago skyline reflected in the Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL Total advertising and promotion budget: $53,288,293

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 18

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 8

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

3. California

Golden Gate Bridge© Matt Payne Photography/Moment/Getty Images Golden Gate Bridge Total advertising and promotion budget: $64,469,786

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 1

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 3

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

2. Florida

Miami Beach, vintage car parked in front of hotel© Sylvain Sonnet/Photodisc/Getty Images Miami Beach, vintage car parked in front of hotel Total advertising and promotion budget: $69,487,006

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 2

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 2

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

1. Hawaii

Hawaii surfing© Aeder Erik/Getty Images Hawaii surfing Total advertising and promotion budget: $82,000,000

(Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Popularity ranking/U.S. visitors: No. 10

(Source: HotelsCombined.com)

Popularity ranking/overseas visitors: No. 4

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

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