The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the tourism industry, with many destinations...
Top 20 Biggest US Counties in Tourism
In this blog post we will take a look at the top 20 counties in the United States with the largest tourism industries based on NAICS codes related to tourism, hospitality and recreation. With the travel and tourism industry continuing to grow, these counties have established themselves as key players in attracting visitors and generating revenue. From the bustling streets of New York City to the sunny beaches of California, these counties showcase the diversity and appeal of the US tourism industry. So let's dive into the data and explore the counties that have made it to the top 20 list.
Tourism is a significant contributor to the economy of many counties across the United States. According to the NAICS codes, we have compiled a list of the top 10 counties in the US with the biggest tourism industries, based on the total number of tourism-related businesses. Let's take a closer look at each of these counties.
#1 Los Angeles County, California
Los Angeles County is the top tourism destination in the United States, with a wide range of attractions, including Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica Beach. It is home to over 40,000 tourism-related businesses, which generate billions of dollars in revenue each year. The county has a diverse range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to budget motels, as well as a vast array of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. The county has a significant arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, theaters, and galleries, as well as major sporting events and concerts. Los Angeles County is a mecca for tourists, offering something for everyone, from families to solo travelers, and is a key driver of the local economy.
#2 New York County, New York
New York County, which is more commonly known as Manhattan, is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors annually. With more than 15,000 tourism-related businesses, it has the second-largest number of such businesses in the US, though surprisingly far behind Los Angeles County. Home to iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and Times Square, New York County is a hub for culture, entertainment, and business. It's no wonder that tourism is a significant contributor to the local economy, generating billions of dollars in revenue and providing jobs for thousands of people in the hospitality and service industries.
#3 Cook County, Illinois
Cook County, Illinois has become a popular tourism destination thanks to its many attractions, museums, and landmarks. With over 13,000 tourism-related businesses, it is the third largest county in the US in terms of tourism industry. Chicago, the largest city in the county, is known for its architecture, music, and food scene, attracting millions of visitors every year. The county is home to many world-class museums, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum, which showcase a diverse range of art and artifacts. Cook County also boasts beautiful beaches, parks, and forests, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
#4 Harris County, Texas
Harris County, located in Texas, is known for having the fourth-largest number of tourism-related businesses in the US, after Cook, New York, and Los Angeles Counties. The county has a wide variety of attractions, including museums, parks, and cultural events that draw visitors from all over the world. One of the most popular attractions in Harris County is the Space Center Houston, which offers visitors a chance to learn about NASA's space exploration programs. Other notable attractions include the Houston Zoo, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Buffalo Bayou Park. With so many attractions and activities to choose from, it's no wonder that Harris County is a top destination for tourists.
#5 Orange County, California
Orange County, located in Southern California, is home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, including Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and the Anaheim Convention Center. As a result, the county has a thriving tourism industry with a large number of businesses catering to visitors. In fact, Orange County ranks fifth in the US in terms of the total number of tourism-related businesses, with over 8,800 businesses operating in the county. These businesses include hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, and other attractions that draw millions of visitors to the county each year, making it a vital part of the local economy.
#6 San Diego County, California
San Diego County is home to one of the largest tourism industries in the United States. With over 8,400 tourism-related businesses, it is the sixth largest county for tourism in the country. San Diego is a popular destination for travelers due to its beautiful beaches, mild climate, and numerous attractions such as SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park. The county is also a hub for business and industry, making it an ideal destination for both leisure and business travelers. The tourism industry in San Diego generates billions of dollars in revenue each year and supports thousands of jobs, making it a vital part of the county's economy.
#7 Kings County, New York
Kings County, also known as Brooklyn, is a vibrant destination with a thriving tourism industry. It's no surprise that it ranks 7th in the US for the highest number of tourism-related businesses. Visitors can explore iconic attractions such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Coney Island, or immerse themselves in the diverse neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Park Slope. Foodies can indulge in the borough's famous pizza and artisanal cuisine, while culture enthusiasts can visit world-class museums and galleries. Brooklyn also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, with trendy bars and music venues catering to a wide range of tastes.
#8 Maricopa County, Arizona
Maricopa County, located in Arizona, is home to the 8th largest number of tourism-related businesses in the US. While the Grand Canyon may be Arizona's most famous attraction, Maricopa County has plenty of its own attractions to offer. The county includes the city of Phoenix, which is the state capital and the largest city in Arizona. Phoenix has a thriving arts and culture scene, as well as a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking and golfing. Additionally, Maricopa County is home to several professional sports teams, including the Arizona Cardinals football team and the Phoenix Suns basketball team. All of these factors contribute to the county's thriving tourism industry.
#9 King County, Washington
King County, located in the state of Washington, is home to Seattle and a thriving tourism industry. As the 9th county with the largest number of tourism-related businesses in the US, King County boasts a wide range of attractions, including the famous Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the Museum of Pop Culture. Visitors to King County can also explore the natural beauty of the region through outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. Additionally, the county is known for its diverse dining scene, with a variety of restaurants offering everything from local seafood to global cuisine.
#10 Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County, located in the southern part of Florida, is known for its sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and diverse culture. The county has a bustling tourism industry, with a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. With over 7,200 tourism-related businesses, Miami-Dade County ranks as the 10th largest tourism industry in the US. Visitors can explore the famous South Beach, indulge in Cuban cuisine in Little Havana, or take a stroll through the Art Deco District. Other popular activities include visiting the Miami Seaquarium, the Miami Zoo, and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
#11 Broward County, Florida
Broward County is located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida and is home to some of the most popular beach destinations in the US, including Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. With more than 5,200 tourism-related businesses, Broward County ranks as the 11th largest tourism industry in the US. Visitors come to the county for its beautiful beaches, world-class dining, and vibrant nightlife. In addition to its beaches, the county is also home to attractions such as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the Museum of Discovery and Science, and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
#12 Suffolk County, New York
Suffolk County, NY is home to the 12th largest tourism industry in the US. With a rich history, stunning beaches, and numerous cultural attractions, it's no surprise that the county is a popular destination for tourists. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and fishing in one of the county's many parks and nature preserves. Suffolk County is also home to numerous vineyards, breweries, and distilleries that offer tours and tastings. The county's thriving arts scene includes theaters, galleries, and museums showcasing everything from contemporary art to historical artifacts. With so much to see and do, it's easy to see why Suffolk County is a must-visit destination for tourists.
#13 Clark County, Nevada
Clark County in Nevada is home to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, which alone attracts millions of tourists each year. With iconic hotels, extravagant casinos, and stunning shows, Clark County offers visitors an experience unlike any other. In addition to the Strip, the county is home to numerous other attractions, including natural wonders like the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead, as well as museums, art galleries, and cultural events. With over 5,000 tourism-related businesses in the county, visitors can choose from a wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, entertainment venues, and outdoor activities.
#14 San Francisco County, California
San Francisco County, located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, is renowned for its iconic landmarks, diverse cultural experiences, and picturesque natural beauty. The county is home to many of the most famous tourist attractions in the US, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and Chinatown. With over 5,000 tourism-related businesses, San Francisco County boasts a vibrant tourism industry, offering a range of accommodations, restaurants, and entertainment options for visitors to enjoy. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and stunning views of the bay make San Francisco County a must-visit destination for both domestic and international tourists.
#15 Nassau County, New York
Nassau County, located on Long Island in New York, is a popular destination for tourists and has the 15th largest number of tourism-related businesses in the US. It offers a variety of attractions including beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, museums, and parks. Some of the popular attractions in Nassau County include the Cradle of Aviation Museum, the Old Westbury Gardens, the Sands Point Preserve, and the Nassau County Museum of Art. Visitors can also enjoy shopping, dining, and outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. With its rich history and natural beauty, Nassau County is a great destination for travelers looking for a mix of culture and adventure.
#16 Santa Clara County, California
Santa Clara County, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, is not only a hub of technology but also a hotspot for tourism. With over 4,800 tourism-related businesses, the county boasts some of the most popular tourist destinations in California. From the iconic Apple Campus to the bustling San Jose flea market, Santa Clara County offers something for everyone. The region also houses a wide range of museums, including the Tech Museum of Innovation and the San Jose Museum of Art. The county is home to several state parks, including Alum Rock Park, where visitors can hike and enjoy stunning views of the Santa Clara Valley.
#17 Alameda County, California
Alameda County, located in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, is home to several popular tourist attractions, contributing to its ranking as the 17th county with the largest number of tourism-related businesses in the US. The county is known for its diverse culture, scenic beauty, and thriving tech industry. Visitors can explore attractions in and around Oakland such as Lake Merritt, Jack London Square, and the USS Hornet Museum. Alameda County also boasts several popular wineries, parks, and hiking trails. With its proximity to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and other Bay Area attractions, Alameda County has become an increasingly popular destination for both domestic and international visitors.
#18 Palm Beach County, Florida
Palm Beach County, located on the southeast coast of Florida, is a popular destination for tourists due to its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and wealth of attractions. The county is home to many tourism-related businesses, making it the 18th largest county for tourism in the United States. Palm Beach County has a diverse range of attractions for visitors, including world-class golf courses, luxury resorts, shopping districts, and natural parks. The county is also home to numerous museums and cultural attractions, such as the Norton Museum of Art and the Flagler Museum, showcasing the area's rich history and cultural heritage.
#19 Pinellas County, Florida
Pinellas County, located on the west coast of Florida, is known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and thriving tourism industry. With over 5,500 tourism-related businesses, it is the 19th county in the US with the largest number of such businesses. One of the most popular attractions in the county is Clearwater Beach, which was named the best beach in America by TripAdvisor in 2019. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of water sports, such as jet skiing and parasailing, as well as exploring nearby attractions like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Salvador Dali Museum.
#20 Honolulu County, Hawaii
Honolulu County, located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, is known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and stunning scenery. As a result, it's no surprise that the county is home to a thriving tourism industry. In fact, Honolulu County is home to the 20th largest number of tourism related businesses in the US. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities in the county, from exploring historical landmarks like Pearl Harbor to hiking through lush forests in the mountains. With so much to offer, it's easy to see why Honolulu County is a popular destination for travelers from around the world.
In summary, the tourism industry is a significant contributor to the economy of the United States, with Los Angeles County leading the pack with the most tourism-related businesses. New York County, Cook County, Harris County, and Orange County complete the top five. Other counties in the top 20 include San Diego County, Kings County, Maricopa County, King County, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Suffolk County, Clark County, San Francisco County, Nassau County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Palm Beach County, Pinellas County, and Honolulu County. Each county has its own unique attractions and draws, such as beaches, theme parks, and historical landmarks, making them popular destinations for tourists from all over the world.