U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig announced today that the growth of spending on travel and tourism (including international visitor spending in the United States) continues to outpace the growth of the U.S. economy (GDP), increasing at an annual rate of 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Total travel and tourism-related employment rose 2.7 percent, accounting for nearly 7.8 million U.S. jobs. This represents the 19th consecutive quarter of job growth for the industry.
The United States is increasingly becoming the destination of choice for international travelers, which translates to job growth,” Selig said. “Today’s data shows that the travel and tourism industry continues to be a bright spot in the U.S. economy.”
- Tourism Spending. Real spending on travel and tourism accelerated in the fourth quarter, increasing at an annual rate of 4.5 percent after increasing 3.4 percent (revised) in the third quarter. By comparison, real gross domestic product (GDP) decelerated, increasing 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 5.0 percent. The leading contributors to the acceleration were “passenger air transportation” and “recreation and entertainment.”
- Tourism Employment. Employment in the travel and tourism industries accelerated, increasing 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 2.0 percent (revised) in the third quarter. This marks the 19th consecutive quarter of employment growth for the industry. By comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 2.2 percent in the third quarter. “Food services and drinking places” was the most significant contributor to employment growth (up 4.3 percent)
- Tourism Prices. Prices for travel and tourism goods and services decreased 3.4 percent during the fourth quarter, following an increase of 0.6 percent (revised) in the third quarter. The downturn was mainly attributable to a large decrease in “all other transportation-related commodities,” which includes gasoline and automotive rentals. This commodity group decreased 19.2 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a 3.8 percent decrease in the third quarter.
The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security recently sent a report to President Obama on expanding the U.S. travel and tourism industry with a strategy to increase the number of international visitors to the U.S. It provides a way forward to deliver a best-in-class arrivals experience, ensuring that international visitors continue to select the United States as their destination of choice.
International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has 2,200 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets worldwide. For more information on ITA visit www.trade.gov.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis, through funding provided by the International Trade Administration, National Travel and Tourism Office, produces the U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Account (TTSA) from which these estimates were derived.
Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts form an indispensable statistical instrument that allows the United States to measure the relative size and importance of the travel and tourism industry, along with its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP).
Approved by the United Nations in March 2002 and endorsed by the U.N. Statistical Commission, TTSAs have become the international standard by which travel and tourism is measured. In fact, more than fifty countries around the world have embraced travel and tourism satellite accounting as the only comprehensive, comparable, and credible measure of travel and tourism and its impact on national economies.
For more information on TTSAs, please visit: < http://travel.trade.gov/
To view the Q4 2014 report in its entirety, please visit: <http://travel.trade.gov/