Internet Travel Monitor - Marketing, Research & Tech

April 10, 2019

Travel Matters to the Economy

Travel has a positive impact on so many aspects of our lives: from the memories it helps us create with family and friends, to the trillions in economic output travel delivers and the millions of American jobs it supports. So, for this year's National Travel and Tourism Week (May 5-11), we are spotlighting a different example each day of why travel matters to America.

Use Sunday, May 5 to celebrate how travel matters to the economy. Each year, traveler spending in the U.S. generates more than $2 trillion in economic output - boosting local communities across the country, all while helping reduce America's overall trade deficit.

Travel matters to the economy in every pocket of America

Communities large and small, both urban and rural, rely on travel for economic development, job creation and tax revenues. Without travel spending, the impact its absence would have on local economies and families would be devastating. Travel spending generated $176 billion in total tax revenue in 2017; without this revenue, each U.S. household would pay $1,300 more in taxes every year.

Travel matters to the overall economy and deficit reduction

Though many people don't immediately think of travel as an export, it is America's second-largest industry export. Every time an international visitor comes to the U.S. and stays in a hotel, rides a train, eats in a restaurant or makes a purchase in a store, the U.S. is "exporting" these goods and services. In 2017, Americans abroad spent $174 billion, while international visitors to the U.S. spent $251 billion - resulting in a travel trade surplus of $77 billion that helps lower our overall trade deficit. Without the surplus provided by travel, the overall U.S. trade deficit would have ballooned 14 percent from $552 billion to $630 billion.

US Travel Export

Ways to celebrate how travel matters to your economy:

  • Write an op-ed about how travel contributes to your community. Reference U.S. Travel's resources for statistics, below, and incorporate your own economic impact and jobs data to localize the content. Pitch it to local media or distribute through a newsletter or on your CEO's LinkedIn page.
  • On May 5, share where your op-ed was published on your social media channels alongside photos of how a strong travel economy has transformed your destination.
Useful tools:

Copyright 2019 U.S. Travel Association. All rights reserved. From
By Sarah Shields, Director, Industry Communications, U.S. Travel Association.
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