The number of visitors to Houston reached 17.5 million in 2015, up from 14.8 million the year before, according to data released this week by Houston First. The growth is due in part to low gas prices, increased air traffic, and Houston’s accolades as one of the top travel destinations in the country.

55.1 million

Air travel to Houston in 2015 - up 3.7% from 2014
 

9.5%

Increase in international air traffic to Houston, making it the second-fastest growing destination in the US
 

6 million

Online traffic to VisitHouston.com websites in 2015, up from 4.6 million in 2014
 

$17.2 billion

Travel related spending in 2014, the most recent data available
 

733,000

Room nights booked for future Houston convention in 2015, a 29% increase from 2014
 

135,000

Hospitality jobs in Houston
 

$1.4 billion

Tax revenue generated by Houston’s hospitality industry
 

The record new figures, which are compiled from several sources including the national research group TNS Travels America, puts Houston much closer to reaching 20 million visitors by 2018—a goal set forth by Houston First and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau a year ago as part of a broad new tourism initiative. The figure includes both domestic and international visitors coming to Houston for both business and leisure.

For a complete list of all tourism data, see this handy infographic we put together.