The U.S. Department of Commerce the International Trade Administration Office of Travel and Tourism Industries statistics for Overseas Visitation Estimates for U.S. States, Cities, and Census Regions: 2011.
Ranked in the #20 position was the Buffalo-Niagara Region with 335,000 international travelers reporting to have visited the area. It is a great stat but it does not really tell the whole story for the area. Unlike the majority of the other cities listed, Buffalo-Niagara is a Bi-National region.In terms of overall numbers, it would not be too far off to assume that another 335,000 to 400,000 international visitors were attracted to the Canadian side of this great region. Combined, both sides of the border could easily have attracted 700,000+ world travelers. Pretty darned good I would say.
In any case, we still have our work cut out. There is no reason why 1 to 1.5 million Overseas travelers could not be attracted to the areas with an effective marketing campaign. Both sides of the border offer history, amusement, music, arts, theater, fun, excitement, zoos and animal parks, wine trails, architecture, gaming, fine dining and more.
We may take a beating from American snobs because we actually have winters, but in the end the knowledgeable world traveler is much more sophisticated than they and voted with their vacation/holiday money as proof.