EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, Wednesday, September 13, 2017
BEA 17—46

Travel and Tourism Spending Stepped Up in the Second Quarter

Travel and Tourism Satellite Account: Second Quarter 2017

Real spending (output) on travel and tourism accelerated in the second quarter of 2017, growing at an annual rate of 4.9 percent after increasing 4.4 percent (revised) in the first quarter, according to new statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real gross domestic product (GDP) for the nation also accelerated, increasing 3.0 percent in the second quarter (second estimate) after increasing 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

The leading contributors to the acceleration in real spending were passenger air transportation and all other transportation-related commodities. Passenger air transportation accelerated, growing 19.2 percent after increasing 5.4 percent (revised) in the first quarter. All other transportation-related services also accelerated, growing 3.2 percent after increasing 1.1 percent (revised) in the first quarter of 2017.

Chart 1. Quarterly Growth in Real Tourism Spending

Tourism Prices. Prices for travel and tourism goods and services turned down in the second quarter of 2017, decreasing 3.2 percent following growth of 2.6 percent (revised) in the first quarter. The downturn was attributable to price decreases for all other transportation-related commodities, passenger air transportation, and recreation and entertainment.

Prices for all other transportation-related goods and services, which includes gasoline, decreased 10.5 percent in the second quarter after increasing 8.2 percent (revised) in the previous quarter. Prices for passenger air transportation turned down, as international air capacity continued to grow. In the second quarter, passenger air transportation prices decreased 4.0 percent after increasing 1.1 percent (revised) in the first quarter of 2017.

Chart 2. Tourism Prices

Tourism Employment. Employment in the travel and tourism industries decelerated, increasing 1.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017 after increasing 2.4 percent (revised) in the previous quarter. Overall U.S. employment also decelerated slightly, increasing 1.3 percent in the second quarter after increasing 1.5 percent in the first quarter.

  • Traveler accommodations was the leading contributor to the deceleration, adding approximately 500 employees in the second quarter of 2017 after adding 6,300 employees in the first quarter.
  • Food and beverage services also contributed to the deceleration, adding approximately 10,400 employees in the second quarter after adding 13,900 employees in the first quarter of 2017.
Chart 3. Tourism Employment

Total Tourism-Related Output was $1.6 trillion in the second quarter of 2017, comprising $930.3 billion (58 percent) of direct tourism spending and $671.7 billion (42 percent) of indirect tourism-related spending.

Total Tourism-Related Employment was 7.9 million jobs in the second quarter of 2017, comprising 5.5 million (70 percent) direct tourism jobs and 2.4 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 – December 13, 2017 at 8:30 A.M. EST for:
Travel and Tourism statistics: Third Quarter, 2017