Home > News Release: U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts, Fourth Quarter and annual 2010
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2011
BEA 11-62
TRAVEL AND TOURISM SPENDING TURNED DOWN IN THE THIRD QUARTER 2011

Real spending on travel and tourism decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the third quarter of 2011 after increasing 3.2 percent (revised) in the second quarter. By comparison, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.0 percent (second estimate) in the third quarter after increasing 1.3 percent in the second quarter. The decrease in real spending on tourism primarily reflected decreases in total transportation and in traveler accommodations.

Overall growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services remained high, increasing 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 following a 7.4 percent (revised) increase in the second quarter. The growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services reflected increases in prices for traveler accommodations and for total transportation.

Chart 1. Real Tourism Spending

Direct tourism-related employment increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011 after increasing 2.5 percent (revised) in the second quarter. By comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 0.9 percent in the third quarter after increasing 1.4 percent in the second quarter.

Chart 2. Quarterly Growth in Real Tourism Spending
Real Tourism Spending. Real spending on passenger air transportation turned down 3.3 percent in the third quarter of 2011 after increasing 5.0 percent in the second quarter. Airlines cut capacity (reducing available flights) and increased prices to cover rising fuel costs. Real spending on traveler accommodations decreased 0.5 percent in the third quarter after decreasing 0.4 percent in the second quarter.
Chart 3. Quarterly Growth in Tourism Prices
Tourism Prices. Prices for passenger air transportation continued to grow, increasing 3.2 percent in the third quarter after increasing 7.6 percent in the second quarter.  Airlines increased fares, especially on international routes, in the third quarter to cover the increased costs of fuel.  Prices for traveler accommodations also grew, increasing 11.9 percent in the third quarter of 2011 after increasing 16.7 percent in the second quarter.
Chart 4. Quarterly Growth in Tourism Employment
Tourism Employment. Direct employment in the travel and tourism industries increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011. All industries saw increases in employment with traveler accommodations experiencing the largest growth at 3.4 percent.

Total Tourism-Related Spending in the U.S. includes the goods and services that are purchased directly by visitors and the inputs used to produce these goods and services. In the third quarter of 2011, total current-dollar tourism-related spending was $1.2 trillion and consisted of $813.2 billion (68 percent) of direct tourism spending goods and services sold directly to visitors and $387.7 billion (32 percent) of indirect tourism-related spending goods and services used to produce what visitors buy.

Total Tourism-Related Employment was 7.6 million in the third quarter of 2011 and consisted of 5.4 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 BEAs 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 BEAs annual TTSAs 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 2011) 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 Fisher 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 statistics for fourth quarter and annual 2011 will be released on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 8:30 A.M. EDT.

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