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TI News: An information service from the National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO)

August 07, 2015

U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Account: First Quarter 2015

Total tourism-related employment reaches 8.0 million, highest level in a decade

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that after twenty consecutive quarters of job growth, total U.S.travel and tourism-related employment reached 8.0 million during the first quarter of 2015; the last time the industry enjoyed employment levels over 8 million was nearly a decade ago back in 2005.

  • Tourism Prices. Overall growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services continued to decline in the first quarter of 2015, decreasing 9.1 percent following a decrease of 4.7 percent (revised) in the fourth quarter. The continued decline was mainly attributable to a large decrease in “all other transportation-related commodities,” which includes gasoline; this commodity group decreased 33.4 percent in the first quarter after decreasing 23.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

  • Tourism Spending. Real spending (output) on travel and tourism decelerated in the first quarter of 2015, increasing at an annual rate of 2.0 percent after increasing 4.9 percent (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2014. By comparison, real gross domestic product (GDP) turned down, decreasing 0.7 percent (second estimate) in the first quarter after increasing 2.2 percent.

  • Tourism Employment. Total travel and tourism employment decelerated, increasing 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015 after increasing 2.8 percent (revised) in the fourth quarter. This marks the 20th consecutive quarter of employment growth in the travel and tourism industries. By comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 2.2 percent in the first quarter after increasing 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter. “Food services and drinking places” was the most significant contributor to employment growth, increasing 4.0 percent in the first quarter.

Change in Real Travel and Tourism Output vs. Real GDP

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: < https://travel.trade.gov/research/programs/satellite/index.html >.

To view the Q5 2015 report in its entirety, please visit: <https://travel.trade.gov/research/programs/satellite/tour115.pdf >.

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