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January 09, 2013

U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts: Third Quarter 2012

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that the growth in U.S. travel and tourism employment continues to accelerate, increasing 1.3 percent in the third quarter of 2012. This marks the tenth consecutive quarter that the U.S. travel and tourism industry has added jobs.

  • Tourism Spending. Real spending on travel and tourism slowed in the third quarter of 2012, increasing at an annual rate of 0.6 percent after increasing 2.2 percent (revised) in the second quarter. By comparison, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.7 percent (second estimate) in the third quarter of 2012 after increasing 1.3 percent in the second quarter.

  • Tourism Prices. Overall growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services turned down in the third quarter of 2012, decreasing 0.9 percent following a 1.1 percent (revised) increase in the second quarter. The third quarter downturn reflected downturns in “traveler accommodations” prices and in “passenger air transportation” prices, for both domestic and international flights.

  • Tourism Employment. Employment in the travel and tourism industries accelerated slightly, increasing 1.3 percent in the third quarter after increasing 1.1 percent in the second quarter. The acceleration reflected an upturn in recreation and entertainment, which increased 1.6 percent in the third quarter after decreasing 3.1 percent in the second quarter, and an acceleration in food services and drinking places.

Change in 'Real U.S. Travel and Tourism Output  vs. GDP'
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Account (TTSA).

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://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/satellite/index.html >.

To view the Q3 2012 release in its entirety, visit: < http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/industry/tourism/2012/pdf/tour312.pdf >.

Subscribe to the Bureau of Economic Analysis' TTSA newsletter: < http://www.bea.gov/_subscribe/index_vocus.htm >.