According to a recent report from Roger Dow, President of the U.S. Travel Association, on how tourism benefits the U.S. economy, direct travel spending in the United States totaled $855 billion in 2012, generating $2 trillion in economic output and more than $129 billion in tax revenue. Travel directly employed 7.7 million Americans and was among the top 10 employers in 48 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The most lucrative segment of this sector is “long-haul” or overseas travel, says the report. The overseas traveler stays longer and spends more, for an average of 18 nights and nearly $4,500 per visitor per trip. Millions of global citizens are now traveling abroad and for every 33 overseas travelers who decide to visit the U.S. an additional American job is created.
Since 2010 the travel industry has helped lead the economic recovery by restoring 85% of the jobs lost during the downturn compared to just 69% of the rest of the economy. Today, travel is our nation’s number one service export. In 2012, travel exports totaled $168.1 billion (including traveler spending and international passenger fare payments to U.S. carriers), yielding a record $50 billion travel trade surplus.
While “travel” frequently connotes tourism, acknowledges the report, business travel accounts for nearly a third of all travel spending. In 2012, domestic business travel generated an estimated $225 billion in direct spending, 5% higher than the previous year and above the all-time high reached in 2007. Business travel directly created nearly two million American jobs. Totaling the deals done, products sold and opportunities created at industry conferences and trade shows that also employed scores of hospitality workers, the total number of jobs supported was 3.7 million.
The report says that U.S. business travel is responsible for $246 billion in spending and 2.3 million American jobs; $100 billion of this spending and nearly 1 million American jobs are linked directly to meetings and events.
An Oxford Economics study, recently released, shows that every dollar invested in business travel generates an average $9.50 in increased revenue and $2.90 in new profits. In addition, the study found that companies that invested the most in business travel during the recession have grown faster than those that cut back on travel. Data from 2007-2011 for 61 industries shows sectors that spent the most on business travel throughout the recession posted higher profit growth.
The study by Oxford Economics is summarized by the U.S. Travel Association showing that business travel drives revenue and profits:
The report included a survey of American business travelers who support these findings:
Both executives and business travelers estimate that 28% of current business would be lost without in-person meetings
Concluding, the summary notes thatU.S. business travel is responsible for $246 billion in spending and 2.3 million American jobs; $100 billion of this spending and nearly 1 million American jobs are linked directly to meetings and events.
For additional information from the U.S. Travel Association, please visit here.