Travel Exports Total $99.5 Billion

Good news for travel industry. David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, offered some promising economic news from his analysis of the Commerce Department report on the August 2011 U.S. trade balance:

“Through the first eight months of 2011, travel exports totaled $99.5 billion, which was larger than the exports of telecommunications equipment, semiconductors and civilian aircraft combined. Through August, travel exports rose 13 percent compared to the same period in 2010. This is an improvement from the 10 percent growth through the first eight months of 2010."

"Given the fact that the travel industry is a very efficient jobs generator – creating twice as many jobs than the rest of the economy for a given increase in output – the solid growth in travel exports this year has been one of the key factors that has enabled the travel industry to create 104,000 jobs through the first eight months of the year, accounting for more than 10 percent of the total jobs created in 2011."

“Now is the time to build on this success," Huether said. "As the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness reported earlier this week, promoting overseas travel to the United States and accelerating visa processing is a key component to increasing jobs in the United States. In fact, simply reclaiming the share of global travel our country lost during the last decade would create more than a million U.S. jobs by 2020.

“U.S. Travel supports new legislation in the House and Senate that would bring international business and leisure travelers to America and help to create U.S. jobs by reforming our visa system," Huether said.

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