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May 16, 2011

U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts: Fourth Quarter 2010

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that real U.S. travel and tourism output (adjusted for changes in price) increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, following an increase of 8.6 percent (revised) in the third quarter of 2010. By comparison, real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 3.1 percent during the fourth quarter.

  • Tourism Spending. Real travel and tourism spending turned up during the fourth quarter, the fourth consecutive quarter of growth, increasing 2.5 percent. In percentage terms, real spending on shopping exhibited the largest gains, increasing 6.2 percent during the quarter, followed by traveler accommodations (5.8%) and passenger air transportation services (3.6%).

  • Tourism Prices. Overall growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services accelerated, increasing 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter following a 0.2 percent (revised) increase in the third. The slowdown in real spending on tourism mainly reflected a deceleration in international air transportation, primarily due to a strong upturn in prices and a slowdown in revenue.

  • Tourism Employment. Employment in air transportation services increased 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter. ;This increase was offset by decreases in traveler accommodations of 3.3 percent and recreation and entertainment of 5.2 percent.

Change in 'Real U.S. Travel and Tourism  Output  vs. GDP'

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, through funding provided by the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, produces the U.S Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts (TTSAs) 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://www.bea.gov/industry/iedguide.htm#ttsa_ou>.

To view the Q4 2010 release in its entirety, visit: <http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/industry/tourism/2011/pdf/tour410.pdf>.

Subscribe to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ TTSA newsletter: <http://service.govdelivery.com/service/multi_subscribe.html?code=USBEA>.