For some business reasons, I need to check what the most popular tourists destinations in the US are.  It is not hard to find such data.  The US National Travel and Tourism Office complied overseas visitor data which will shed some light on our questions.  Here is the data link, in case you like to analyze yourself.

I used 2017 monthly data, and chose the plot the top 10 ports of entry from overseas.

(1) Which are the top 5 destinations from overseas?

New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu.

It is worth noting the NYC is the number one city by a large margin.  If you look at #6, which is Newark, you realize a large percentage of international visitors flying into Newark will go to NYC as well.  Add the two destinations up, there are almost twice as many people visiting NYC each month as those visiting Miami or LA.  It is just amazing.

(2) Which months are the most popular?

July and August.  It is interesting to note that there is a “Christmas/New York Effect”. Namely, more visitors come to the US in December (compared to November or January) during the winter holidays.

A common misconception is that San Francisco or LA will have less seasonality because of their milder weather all year around.  Not sure.  As is seen from the graph, these two west coast cities have very similar summer peaks and winter lows just like the west coast cities.

Also interesting to note is that there is a spring peak in April, followed up a dip in May and June before going up again in July.  Why is that?

(3) What is going on with Miami in September?

One can see there is sharp drop in visitors in September in Miami.  My preliminary search offers a simple explanation:  hurricanes.  What do you think?  Comment your thoughts below!