Travel continues to be a trade dynamo with travel exports increasing by $0.7 billion to $15.9 billion in December 2013—an 11.8 percent increase from December 2012, according to David Huether, senior vice president of research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association.
Huether provided analysis of today's Commerce Department announcement of the December U.S. trade balance. The monthly increase was the largest since February 2012, and the largest December increase in the past 20 years.
"The travel industry's trade surplus—the third-largest of any industry—was 8.5 percent higher in December 2013 than in the same month a year before," Huether noted.
"For 2013 overall, travel exports increased by 9.1 percent to a record $180.7 billion dollars. By contrast, other U.S. exports edged up just 2.3 percent in 2013, much slower than in 2012. As a result of growing so much faster than other exports, the travel industry generated 25 percent of the overall increase in U.S. exports in 2013—not bad for an industry that makes up 8.6 percent of total U.S. exports overall," Huether said.
"With world-class destinations and competitively priced goods and services, the U.S. travel industry is attracting a record number of foreign travelers to our shores this year, and their spending while visiting our country is one of the key reasons the travel industry been creating jobs faster than the rest of the economy," Huether said, urging urge policymakers to support proposals to boost travel.