I received on my desk yesterday a hard copy of the U.S. Travel Association’s “Travel and Tourism Works for America 2010-2011” report. Available to members of the association, the report provides an insightful overview of the country’s travel industry and its crucial role in the economy. (Copies can be purchased here.) Here are some key highlights I wanted to share with you:
• Domestic and international travelers spent US$704.4 billion during 2009 in direct expenditures in the United States, a decline of 8.9% from 2008. Spending increases of 5% and 9% are forecast in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
• Travel and tourism accounted for 2.7% of the nation’s gross domestic product during 2008.
• Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged US$1.9 billion a day, US$80 million an hour, US$1.3 million a minute and US$22,300 a second.
• Travel and tourism’s total productivity—the value added of all goods and services produced—contributed US$1.7 trillion to the nation’s economy during 2009.
• The U.S. travel industry ranked fifth in comparison to other major private industrial sectors in the economy (behind health care, retail, manufacturing and administrative).
• Travel-related jobs accounted for 7.4 million American workers (both full-time and seasonal/part-time), which is 5.6% of total non-farm employment in the U.S.
• The number of travel-related jobs created directly and indirectly by the spending of domestic and international travelers equaled 10.1 million.
• Workers directly employed in the U.S. travel industry shared earnings totaling US$186.3 billion.