While other exports turned downward, travel exports held their ground in April, growing at 13.2 percent compared to last year – nearly three times faster than any other major service category and twice as fast as overall exports - reports David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association. Huether notes that the Commerce Department has announced that travel exports were $14 billion for April 2012.
"Total travel exports in April 2012 were also greater than major capital goods categories including: civilian aircraft, computers, telecommunications equipment and medical equipment combined. The April 2011 to April 2012 increase in service exports was $2.2 billion, with travel exports contributing $1.5 billion, more than half of this increase," Huether said.
"Double digit growth for the travel industry again proves key to closing the trade gap by increasing international travel to the United States. Recommendations made this week by the President's Export Council (PEC) include lowering visa wait times, expanding the Visa Waiver Program and longer-term visas, all of which will contribute greatly in as assisting President's Obama goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015."