The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that real spending (output) on travel and tourism continued to rise during the third quarter, increasing at an annual rate of 4.3 percent after increasing 8.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015. For perspective, the U.S. economy (gross domestic product) grew 2.1 percent during the third quarter, half the growth exhibited by travel and tourism. This marks the fourth consecutive quarter in which the growth of travel and tourism output has outpaced the growth of the U.S. economy.

“After 22 consecutive quarters of job growth the travel and tourism industry has added more than 1.1 million U.S. jobs that were previously lost during the global economic slowdown,” Under Secretary Selig said. “More than eight million U.S. jobs now depend on the continued success of travel and tourism – an industry that produces nearly $1.6 trillion a year of economic output for the U.S. economy.”

  • Tourism Prices. Prices of travel and tourism goods and services turned down in the third quarter, decreasing 0.3 percent following an increase of 0.5 percent in the second quarter. The downturn was mainly attributable to a downturn in “all other transportation-related commodities,” which includes gasoline, travel arrangements and reservation services, and automotive rental. Prices for “traveler accommodations” turned up in the third quarter, partially offsetting the downturn in prices for “all other transportation-related commodities.”
  • Tourism Employment. Employment growth in the travel and tourism industries accelerated, increasing 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2015 after increasing 1.6 percent in the second quarter. In comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 1.8 percent in the third quarter after increasing 1.7 percent in the second quarter. “Food services and drinking places" was the most significant contributor to employment growth, adding 14.6 thousand employees, followed by “air transportation” which added 4.5 thousand employees.

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.

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To view the Q2 2015 report in its entirety, visit:

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