Counting Our Blessings

As National Tourism Week ends, TravelAge West editors thought it would be appropriate to remind everyone of the great benefits that travel brings to the United States. There are a lot of intangibles that, hopefully, travelers brings home along with their dirty laundry and souvenirs: tolerance and resp


As National Tourism Week ends, TravelAge West editors thought it would be appropriate to remind everyone of the great benefits that travel brings to the United States.

There are a lot of intangibles that, hopefully, travelers brings home along with their dirty laundry and souvenirs: tolerance and respect for others, a broader knowledge and better understanding of the world.

And there’s the financial advantages, an area that is detailed well in the Tourism Talking Points prepared by the Travel Industry Association of America (www.tia.org).

Here is a slightly condensed version of its fact sheet, last revised in October 2002:

The U.S. Travel and Tourism Industry Produces...

... One of America’s Largest Service Exports!

l $91.1 billion spent in U.S. by international travelers and

l $82.5 billion spent outside U.S. by domestic travelers creates a l $8.6 billion in balance of trade surplus for the U.S.

... One of America’s Largest Employers!

l $174 billion travel-generated payroll.

l 7.9 million direct travel-generated jobs.

l 18 million direct and induced travel-generated jobs.

l One of every seven people in the U.S. civilian labor force is directly and indirectly employed in travel and tourism.

... America’s Third Largest Retail Sales Industry!

l $537.2 billion direct travel expenditures including international travelers.

l $98.7 billion tax revenue for local, state and federal governments.

l Spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $1.5 billion a day, $61 million an hour, $1 million a minute, and $17,000 a second.

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