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BEA 17—66

Travel and Tourism Spending Accelerated in the Third Quarter

Travel and Tourism Satellite Account: Third Quarter 2017

Real spending (output) on travel and tourism accelerated in the third quarter of 2017, growing at an annual rate of 6.6 percent after increasing 6.0 percent (revised) in the second quarter, according to new statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real gross domestic product (GDP) for the nation also accelerated, increasing 3.3 percent in the third quarter (second estimate) after increasing 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2017.

The leading contributors to the acceleration in real spending were traveler accommodations and food and beverage services. Traveler accommodations accelerated, growing 13.5 percent in the third quarter after increasing 3.8 percent (revised) in the second quarter. Food and beverage services increased 0.6 percent after decreasing 1.4 percent (revised) in the previous quarter.

Chart 1. Quarterly Growth in Real Tourism Spending

Tourism Prices. Prices for travel and tourism goods and services decreased 1.1 percent in the third quarter of 2017. This was a smaller decrease than the 3.2 percent (revised) decline in the second quarter. The decrease was largely attributable to the prices of traveler accommodations and passenger air transportation.

Prices for traveler accommodations decreased 9.9 percent in the third quarter, a larger decline than the 0.3 percent (revised) decrease in the previous quarter. In the third quarter, passenger air transportation prices decreased 6.7 percent after decreasing 3.4 percent (revised) in the second quarter of 2017.

Transportation-related commodity prices increased in the third quarter. This price, which includes gasoline, increased 7.4 percent in the third quarter after decreasing 11.2 percent (revised) in the previous quarter.

Chart 2. Tourism Prices

Tourism Employment. Employment in the travel and tourism industries decelerated, growing 1.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017 after increasing 2.1 percent (revised) in the previous quarter. Overall U.S. employment growth remained steady, increasing 1.3 percent in the third quarter after increasing 1.3 percent in the second quarter.

  • Traveler accommodations was the leading contributor to the deceleration, losing approximately 800 employees in the third quarter of 2017 after adding 6,400 employees in the second quarter.
  • Food and beverage services also contributed to the deceleration, adding approximately 5,600 employees in this quarter after adding 11,800 employees in the previous quarter of 2017.
Chart 3. Tourism Employment

Total Tourism-Related Output was $1.6 trillion in the third quarter of 2017, comprising $945 billion (58 percent) of direct tourism spending and $682 billion (42 percent) of indirect tourism-related spending.

Total Tourism-Related Employment was 7.9 million jobs in the third 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.

Discontinuation of Quarterly Travel and Tourism Estimates

Due to budget constraints, BEA is discontinuing production of quarterly travel and tourism estimates. Annual estimates, published each June in BEA’s Survey of Current Business, will continue to be produced with support from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

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