Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Weak dollar lures foreign travelers to Grand Canyon

April 24, 2008, 11:55 am

When Steve Meissner of Berlin bought a 1956 butter yellow Cadillac online, he could have simply had it shipped from Arizona to Germany. Instead, he flew to the U.S. with a buddy, hopped in the Caddy and began a road trip that included the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks in Utah, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

Like an increasing number of foreign travelers to the U.S., Meissner couldn't resist taking advantage of the weak U.S. dollar and gas prices here. "Our euro is so up, and gas is dirt cheap," said the 45-year-old wedding photographer, who shipped the car to Germany after his adventure. "We pay $8 a gallon in Germany, so we enjoy pumping gas at three bucks a gallon."

International visitors to the United States increased to more than 56.7 million people in 2007, an 11.1% increase over the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Visitors from Canada, Mexico, England, Japan and Germany top the list.