EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012
BEA 12-26
TRAVEL AND TOURISM SPENDING INCREASED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2012

Real spending on travel and tourism increased at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after increasing 4.4 percent (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2011. By comparison, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.9 percent (second estimate) in the first quarter after increasing 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter. The increase in real spending on tourism primarily reflected increases in traveler accommodations and in food services and drinking places.

Overall growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services turned up, increasing 6.0 percent in the first quarter of 2012 following a 1.7 percent (revised) decrease in the fourth quarter of 2011. The upturn in prices for travel and tourism goods and services reflected upturns in the prices for fuel related to transportation services and in the prices for traveler accommodations.

Chart 1. Quarterly Growth in Real Tourism Spending

Employment in the travel and tourism industries increased 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after increasing 1.4 percent (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2011. By comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 2.1 percent in the first quarter after increasing 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

Chart 2. Quarterly Growth in Real Tourism Spending
Real Tourism Spending. Real spending on passenger air transportation decelerated, increasing 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after increasing 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Real spending on traveler accommodations also decelerated, increasing 4.8 percent in the first quarter after increasing 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter. Business spending on traveler accommodations increased while leisure spending remained flat.
Chart 3. Quarterly Growth in Tourism Prices
Tourism Prices. Prices for passenger air transportation accelerated, increasing 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after increasing 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Airlines continued to increase fares in the first quarter to cover the accelerating fuel costs. Prices for traveler accommodations turned up, increasing 6.3 percent in the first quarter after decreasing 8.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
Chart 4. Quarterly Growth in Tourism Employment
Tourism Employment. Employment in the travel and tourism industries increased 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after increasing 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. All industries saw increases in employment. The largest growth was in recreation and entertainment, which increased 4.3 percent in the first quarter after increasing 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

Total Tourism-Related Spending in the U.S. includes the goods and services that are purchased directly by tourists and also a portion of the goods and services produced by the supply chain that supports tourism activity; for example, a linen supply firm whose payroll, and other costs, are supported by travelers.

In the first quarter of 2012, total current-dollar tourism-related spending was $1.4 trillion and consisted of $848.6 billion (59 percent) of direct tourism spending — goods and services sold directly to visitors — and $577.9 billion (41 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 first quarter of 2012 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 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 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 2012) 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.

These statistics reflect the annual TTSA revision released in the June 2012 Survey of Current Business. The annual TTSA revision incorporated revised Input-Output (IO) tables for 2003 through 2009 and the preliminary IO table for 2010. The IO revision integrated source data that were more complete and more detailed than those previously available. Additionally, these estimates reflect unique travel and tourism-specific source data available on an annual basis only.

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Next release – Travel and Tourism statistics for second quarter 2012 will be released on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 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.