International visitors spent an estimated $13.7 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of July - $350 million (3 percent) more than was spent in July 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports. Travel and tourism-related exports have increased, on average, more than $1.1 billion a month during the first seven months of 2012.
"The travel data released today shows that tourism remains one of the bright spots in our economy, and the travel and tourism industry is on pace to reach record export levels this year," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank.
International visitors spent an estimated $10.5 billion on travel and tourism-related goods and services while traveling within the United States in July 2012 - an increase of four percent when compared to last year. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel, Commerce said.
Year to date, international visitors have spent an estimated $95.4 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services - an increase of more than nine percent when compared to the same period last year, Commerce reported.
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) also released Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts estimates for the second quarter of 2012. These accounts present a detailed picture of travel and tourism activity and its role in the U.S. economy, presenting estimates of spending by tourists, or visitors, on six categories of goods and serviced as well as estimates of the employment generated by travel and tourism and their related industries.
Today's data reveal that real spending on travel and tourism increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2012 after increasing 4.9 percent (revised) in the first quarter of 2012.
In the second quarter of 2012, the travel and tourism industry supported 7.6 million jobs - with international travel supporting 1.2 million of those jobs.
All of these numbers underscore the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the U.S. economy, Commerce said.
The Commerce Department said it is continuing to supply the travel and tourism industry with important data, including international arrivals to the U.S., the forecast of international travel to America for more than 30 countries, and estimates of the total impact of travel and tourism on the economy, among other services.