April 11, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that the growth in U.S. travel and tourism employment continues to accelerate, increasing 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 after increasing 1.8 percent in the third quarter. By comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013. This marks the fifteenth consecutive quarter in which the U.S. travel and tourism industry has added jobs to the workforce.
Tourism Spending. Real spending on "traveler accommodations" accelerated, increasing 14.5 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 3.3 percent in the third quarter. The increase was primarily driven by group and corporate revenue growth.
Tourism Prices. Prices for "traveler accommodations" decreased 8.0 percent in the fourth quarter, after decreasing 3.0 percent in the third quarter. In contrast, prices for "passenger air transportation" accelerated, increasing 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 5.7 percent in the third quarter. Strong holiday demand was reflected by an increase in passenger unit revenue.
Tourism Employment. Total Tourism-Related Employment was 8.1 million jobs in the fourth quarter of 2013 and consisted of 5.8 million (71 percent) direct tourism jobs - jobs where workers produce goods and services sold directly to visitors - and 2.3 million (29 percent) indirect tourism-related jobs - jobs where workers produce goods and services used to produce what visitors purchase.
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 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.