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TI News: An information service from Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

December 19, 2008

Travel and Tourism-Related Spending Declines 8.1% in Q3 2008

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) today announced the largest decline in real travel and tourism spending since the tragic event of September 11, 2001 (Q4:2001), declining 8.1% in Q3 2008. Indeed, real tourism output declined more than $13.3 billion when compared to Q2 2008.

The decline in spending on passenger air transportation exacerbated the downturn, declining more than $5.9 billion (-20.4%) in the third quarter, possibly resulting from the nearly 14% increase in the price of air transportation in Q3 2008, as carriers raised fares and reduced capacity in an effort to recover increases in the cost of fuel. This marks the second consecutive quarter of declines in passenger air transportation spending, falling 18.7% in Q2 2008.

The Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts measure all aspects of travel and tourism sales, both domestic and international. More specific sector analyses reveal:

  • Shopping: Travelers spent $104.8 billion shopping in Q3 2008, nearly $1.9 billion less than spent in Q2 2008, a decrease of 6.9% in real spending.
  • Food Services and Drinking Places: Travelers spent $1.6 billion less on food and beverages while traveling, a decrease of 6.2% in real spending.
  • Traveler Accommodations: Travelers spent more than $106.6 billion on accommodations in Q3 2008, a decline of 3% compared to Q2 2008. Prices for accommodations have increased nearly 25% since 2000.

Real Tourism spending

These estimates are from the Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts (TTSAs), which are supported by funding from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information on TTSAs, please visit: http://www.bea.gov/industry/iedguide.htm#ttsa_ou

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