Home > News Release: U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts, Second Quarter 2009
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009
BEA 09-41



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TOURISM SPENDING DECLINED LESS IN THE SECOND QUARTER 2009

Real spending on travel and tourism declined at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in 2009:2 (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter) after declining 8.9 percent (revised) in 2009:1. By comparison, real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 1.0 percent (second estimate) in 2009:2 after decreasing 6.4 percent in 2009:1. Travel and tourism prices continued to decline but at a slower rate—decreasing 3.5 percent in 2009:2 after decreasing 10.6 percent (revised) in 2009:1. Transportation and traveler accommodations made the largest contributions to the decrease in real spending in 2009:1 despite price declines for both.

  • Passenger air transportation experienced an upturn—increasing 0.8 percent in 2009:2 after decreasing 21.5 percent (revised) in 2009:1. Real spending on domestic flights grew for the first time in six quarters, while real spending on international flights, which was influenced by the H1N1 flu virus, continued to decline.
  • Spending on accommodations posted a smaller decrease—1.7 percent in 2009:2 after a 21.8 percent (revised) decrease in 2009:1. The smaller decrease reflected improved occupancy rates at hotels and slower declines in business travel.
  • Transportation prices showed smaller decreases (7.8 percent in 2009:2 compared to 22.1 percent (revised) in 2009:1). Auto travelers and tourists began to pay more for gasoline at the pump, but airfare prices continued to fall.
Chart 1. Real Tourism Spending

Direct tourism-related employment fell 4.1 percent in 2009:2, compared to the 7.2 percent (revised) decrease in 2009:1. Almost all travel and tourism industries reduced employment. The sole exception was food services and drinking places which experienced a slight increase in 2009:2. By comparison, overall U.S. employment decreased 4.5 percent in 2009:2 and decreased 5.9 percent (revised) in 2009:1.

Real Tourism Spending. Spending on passenger air transportation grew for the first time in four quarters, increasing 0.8 percent in 2009:2 after decreasing 21.5 percent in 2009:1. Domestic air transportation grew while international air transportation continued to fall. Traveler accommodations declined 1.7 percent after a decline of 21.8 percent (revised) in the previous quarter.
Chart 2. Quarterly Growth in Real Tourism Spending
Tourism Prices. Prices for passenger air transportation continued to decline steeply in 2009:2—decreasing 28.9 percent following a decrease of 27.1 percent (revised) in 2009:1. Airlines continued to reduce prices to stimulate demand and remove capacity from their fleets in order to minimize losses. Prices for accommodations decreased 6.8 percent after falling 15.1 percent in the previous quarter. Hotels cut prices for business and leisure travel to increase demand.
Chart 3. Quarterly Growth in Tourism Prices
Tourism Employment. Employment in air transportation services decreased 7.7 percent in 2009:2 after decreasing 6.3 percent in 2009:1. Employment in accommodation services decreased 5.7 percent in 2009:2 after decreasing 9.6 percent in the prior quarter.
Chart 4. Quarterly Growth in Tourism Employment

Total Tourism-Related Spending.  The U.S. production generated by tourism spending not only includes the goods and services that are purchased directly, but also the inputs used to produce these goods and services—indirect tourism-related spending. In 2009:2, total current-dollar tourism-related spending of $1.2 trillion consisted of $691.4 billion (57 percent) of direct tourism spending—goods and services sold directly to visitors—and $532.0 billion (43 percent) of indirect tourism-related spending—goods and services used to produce what visitors buy.

Total Tourism-Related Employment.  In 2009:2, total tourism-related employment of 8.2 million consisted of 5.7 million (69 percent) direct tourism jobs—jobs where workers produce goods and services sold directly to visitors—and 2.6 million (31 percent) indirect tourism-related jobs—jobs where workers produce goods and services used to produce what visitors buy.

 

Definitions

Tourism spending.  Tourism spending comprises all goods and services purchased by tourists (defined as people who travel for any reason). In the following tables, tourism spending is referred to as direct tourism output.

Indirect tourism-related spending.  Indirect tourism-related spending comprises all output used as inputs in the process of producing direct tourism output (e.g., toiletries for hotel guests and the plastic used to produce souvenir key chains).

Total tourism-related spending.  Total tourism-related spending is the sum of direct tourism spending and indirect tourism-related spending.

Direct tourism employment.  Direct tourism employment comprises all jobs where the workers are engaged in the production of direct tourism output (such as hotel staff, airline pilots, and souvenir sellers).

Indirect tourism-related employment.  Indirect tourism-related employment comprises all jobs where the workers are engaged in the production of indirect tourism-related output (e.g., employees of companies that produce toiletries for hotel guests and the plastic used to produce souvenir key chains).

Total tourism-related employment.  Total tourism-related employment is the sum of direct tourism employment and indirect tourism-related employment.

 

These estimates are from BEA’s Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts (TTSAs), which are supported by funding from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The current-price statistics of direct tourism output were derived from BEA’s annual TTSAs (revised in June 2009) and from current-price quarterly statistics of personal consumption expenditures from the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs). The real statistics of direct tourism output were developed using price indexes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and real quarterly statistics of personal consumption expenditures from the NIPAs. The statistics of direct tourism employment were derived from the annual TTSAs (revised in June 2009) from BEA, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), and Current Employment Statistics (CES) from BLS.

Quarterly statistics are seasonally adjusted and expressed at annual rates, unless otherwise specified. Percent changes are calculated from unrounded data and annualized. Real values are in chained (2000) dollars. Price indexes are chain-type measures. Growth in overall U.S. employment is calculated using BLS Total nonfarm employment from Current Employment Statistics, www.bls.gov/ces/home.htm#data.

 

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Next release – Travel and Tourism estimates for third quarter 2009 will be released on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. EST.

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