Home > News Release: U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts, Third Quarter 2010
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2010
BEA 10-60



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TRAVEL AND TOURISM SPENDING GROWS IN THIRD QUARTER 2010

Real spending on travel and tourism increased at an annual rate of 8.0 percent in 2010:3, following an increase of 3.4 percent (revised) in 2010:2. By comparison, real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.5 percent (second estimate) in 2010:3 after increasing 1.7 percent in 2010:2. While tourism spending outpaced overall growth in the economy, it still remains below its peak set in 2007:3.

Examining the components of real travel and tourism spending, passenger air transportation increased sharply, accompanied by accelerated growth in accommodations. During this period, prices for passenger air transportation fell, while prices for accommodations rose.



Chart 1. Real Tourism Spending

Direct tourism-related employment continued to grow, increasing 2.0 percent in 2010:3 after increasing 2.1 percent
(revised) in 2010:2. By comparison, overall U.S. employment fell 0.1 percent in 2010:3 after increasing 2.2 percent in 2010:2.

Real Tourism Spending. Real spending on passenger air transportation increased 29.8 percent in 2010:3 after increasing 4.8 percent in 2010:2 as airlines decreased fares contributing to an increase in demand. Real spending on traveler accommodations accelerated, increasing 9.5 percent after increasing 6.0 percent in 2010:2, as occupancy rates at hotels increased.
Chart 2. Quarterly Growth in Real Tourism Spending

Tourism Prices. Prices for passenger air  transportation turned down, falling 11.7 percent in 2010:3 after increasing 16.5 percent in 2010:2. Air carriers have increased capacity by bringing idle planes back into service contributing to the price decline. Prices for traveler accommodations decelerated, increasing 4.0 percent in 2010:3 after increasing 19.0 percent in 2010:2.
Chart 3. Quarterly Growth in Tourism Prices

Tourism Employment. Overall growth in travel and tourism employment was 2.0 percent in 2010:3 – in line with growth of 2.1 percent in 2010:2. In 2010:3, employment increased 0.9 percent in air transportation services and 4.2 percent in traveler accommodations. The employment gain in traveler accommodations is the largest increase since 2002:2.
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 2010:3, total current-dollar tourism-related spending was $1.3 trillion and consisted of $790.5 billion (59 percent) of direct tourism spending – goods and services sold directly to visitors — and $549.2 billion (41 percent) of indirect tourism-related spending – goods and services used to produce what visitors buy.

Total Tourism-Related Employment. In 2010:3, total tourism-related employment was 7.8 million and consisted of 5.5 million (71 percent) direct tourism jobs – jobs where workers produce goods and services sold directly to visitors — and 2.2 million (29 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 statistics 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 November 2010) 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 November 2010) 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 (2005) 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.

 

The quarterly statistics released on December 20, 2010 reflect the comprehensive revision of the annual travel and tourism statistics released in November 2010 and replace prior quarterly statistics of travel and tourism.

Major changes introduced with this comprehensive revision include the following:

  • The results of the 2010 comprehensive revision of the annual industry accounts.
  • The results of the 2002 benchmark input-output (I-O) accounts.
  • The results of the 2009 comprehensive revision of the national income and product accounts.
  • New employment multipliers from BEA’s Regional Input-Output Modeling System II (RIMS II) program.
  • New data on travel expenditures by consumers, government, and business from the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey and a private travel research firm.

See the following articles for further information:

Matthew M. Donahoe, Edward T. Morgan, Kevin J. Muck, and Ricky L. Stewart, “Annual Industry Accounts: Revised Statistics for 1998–2008 and Comprehensive Revision,” Survey of Current Business 90 (June 2010): 14–29.

Steven L. Zemanek and Stanislaw J. Rzeznik, “U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts for 2004-2009,” Survey of Current Business 90 (November 2010): 31-44.

 

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Next release – Travel and Tourism statistics for fourth quarter and annual 2010 will be released on Friday, March 18, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. EDT 

BEA’s national, international, regional, and industry statistics; the Survey of Current Business; and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA’s Web site at www.bea.gov. By visiting the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.