EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, Wednesday, March 15, 2017
BEA 17—10

Travel and Tourism Satellite Account: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2016

Travel and Tourism Spending Turned Down in the Fourth Quarter

Real spending (output) on travel and tourism turned down in the fourth quarter of 2016, decreasing at an annual rate of 3.3 percent after increasing 3.7 percent (revised) in the third quarter according to new statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In contrast, real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 3.5 percent in the third. For the year, travel and tourism grew 2.3 percent, a deceleration from the 4.7 percent growth in 2015.

The leading contributors to the fourth-quarter downturn in travel and tourism were “Passenger air transportation” and “Traveler accommodations.” “Passenger air transportation” decreased 15.1 percent after increasing 2.0 percent (revised) in the previous quarter. “Traveler accommodations” decreased 5.9 percent after increasing 8.3 percent (revised) in the third quarter.

Chart 1. Quarterly Growth in Real Tourism Spending

Tourism Prices - Prices for travel and tourism goods and services accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2016, increasing 9.1 percent following an increase of less than 0.01 percent (revised) in the third quarter. The acceleration was attributable to the upturn in price growth for “All other transportation-related commodities,” which increased 16.2 percent in the fourth quarter after declining 2.4 percent in the third. Prices for “Passenger air transportation” also contributed to the acceleration, increasing 17.8 percent in the fourth after increasing 0.2 percent previously. For 2016, prices for travel and tourism goods and services grew 1.5, an upturn from a 3.1 percent decline in 2015.

Chart 2. Tourism Prices

Tourism Employment – Employment in the travel and tourism industries decelerated in the fourth quarter, increasing 0.7 percent after increasing 1.6 percent (revised) in the third quarter. “Traveler accommodations" was the most significant contributor to the deceleration, subtracting 2,300 jobs in the fourth quarter. “Food services and drinking places” was the second largest contributor to the deceleration, adding 8,700 jobs in the fourth quarter, after adding 11,400 jobs in the third.

Chart 3. Tourism Employment

Total Tourism - Related Output was $1.7 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2016. It consisted of $955.2 billion (58 percent) of direct tourism spending and $705.4 billion (42 percent) of indirect tourism-related spending.

Total Tourism - Related Employment was 7.7 million jobs in the fourth quarter of 2016, and consisted of 5.4 million (70 percent) direct tourism jobs and 2.3 million (30 percent) indirect tourism-related jobs.

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 from BEA, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), and Current Employment Statistics (CES) from BLS.

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Next release:  June 26, 2017 at 8:30 A.M. EDT
Travel and Tourism statistics:  First Quarter, 2017