WASHINGTON (AP) - As tourism season reaches its peak in Washington, AAA has compiled data showing tour buses generate billions of dollars for the nation's capital.
The auto club says as many as 1,200 buses operate around the National Mall daily during the tourism season. That generates nearly $35,000 per day for the local economy.
According to data from the American Bus Association Foundation, the total annual economic impact of tour buses was $2.9 billion in 2012.
AAA says more than half of the 18 million domestic visitors to Washington are leisure travelers. And a third of day-trip visitors arrive by tour bus.
But the auto club says the district doesn't have enough bus parking, and bus drivers face ticketing and fines because there are too few bus zones along the National Mall.