Big bucks in Virginia from overseas tourists

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Travelers from overseas spent a record $321 million in Virginia in 2010, up by more than 12 percent from the previous year.

Gov. Bob McDonnell's office on Tuesday cited figures from Capital Region USA, which reported that tourism spending by international visitors increased by $35 million from 2009. CRUSA is the official marketing group that promotes Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia internationally.

The group also reported that 575,000 Canadians traveled to Virginia last year, and spent more than $133 million, up 16 percent from 2009, reflecting Virginia Tourism Corp.'s efforts to attract Canadians. VTC's marketing efforts primarily have focused on Ontario and Quebec, and most Canadian visitors to Virginia come from the two provinces.