It is no secret that I am fond of my hometown airport Boston Logan International and I have written previously about the incredible strides the airport has made in terms of international routes. In 2015, they will add seven new international destinations and are always on the lookout for potential new routes. With a strengthening dollar and oil creeping ever lower, Bostonians will be looking to travel abroad and fill those new routes. On the flip side 2014 was a record-breaker in terms of international traffic for BOS and to make room for even more carriers and passengers the airport has torn down the old American Airlines hangar built in the sixties to make way for the new international Terminal E extension.
2014 was a banner year for BOS in terms of international travel and for the first time in the history of the airport, China ranked number one in tourism visitors to the Bay State, with about 173,000 last year, topping Great Britain for the first time. This due in large part to new Hainan Airlines service to Beijing on a daily basis. It is really interesting to see more visitors are coming to the Bay State from so far away then are perennial neighbors across the sea. Could this be an issue with Heathrow being at capacity, one could imagine that with more flight from Great Britain the numbers would shift back in their favor.
2014 gave us a 10 percent increase to a record 1.4 million international visitors in one year. Visitors spent over $1 billion dollars while visiting Massachusetts, an average of $763 per person. In the first six months of the 2015, total international passengers using Logan Airport climbed 11.2 percent to 1,323, 245, an increase of over 254,000 or 9,800 a week compared to the same period a year ago. In the past five years, total international travel passenger numbers have increased over 810,000 while overall traffic rose 2,839,736. The number for 2015 are shaping up to be off the charts according to Pat Moscaritolo, who heads the Visitors Bureau.
One could argue that even though the increased numbers are important for Massachusetts commerce, the news isn’t all positive. Growth doesn’t come without issues. The roadways leading to BOS, in particular, the Ted Williams tunnel and Sumner Tunnel are routinely jammed with bumper to bumper traffic during the peak travel hours. The E terminal is constantly busy and as demonstrated by the demolition of the American Airlines hanger, desperately in need of more gate space. Also, the customs area is in need of a makeover and has fairly long wait times. Without improvements to the airport infrastructure, the international growth can become a burden.
It is always nice to hear my home state doing well in the tourism department and I am very proud to say Massachusetts was the seventh most popular state to visit trailing New York, Florida, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Texas in 2014. All the additional global air service is great and makes traveling to new destinations incredibly easy now. Hopefully, airfare prices will level off and we can travel even more. Until then keep on using the tripchi app for all your airport needs. Travel On!