The Bureau of Economic Analysis from the U.S. Department of Commerce released some intriguing statistics today about travelers' spending habits in the third quarter of 2014.
Most notably, the study found that "real spending" on travel and tourism decelerated during the quarter, increasing at an annual rate of 1.3 percent after increasing 3.3 percent (revised) in the second quarter.
The leading contributors to the deceleration in the third quarter were "passenger air transportation," and "recreation and entertainment." "Passenger air transportation" turned down, decreasing 7.2 percent in the third quarter after increasing 11.1 percent in the second quarter. "Recreation and entertainment" also turned down, decreasing 5.5 percent after increasing 4.1 percent. Partially offsetting these downturns, "traveler accommodations" turned up, increasing 8.3 percent in the third quarter after decreasing 0.9 percent.
Overall growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services decelerated in the third quarter of 2014, increasing 0.6 percent following a 6.6 percent (revised) increase in the second quarter. This is the largest price deceleration since the fourth quarter of 2008. The deceleration was mainly attributable to a downturn in "all other transportation-related commodities," which includes gasoline and automotive rentals; the industry group decreased 4.7 percent in the third quarter after increasing 8.6 percent in the second quarter.
Employment in the travel and tourism industries decelerated slightly, increasing 1.7 percent in the third quarter of 2014 after increasing 1.9 percent (revised) in the second quarter. This marks the 18th consecutive quarter of employment growth in the travel and tourism industries. By comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 2.1 percent in the third quarter after increasing 2.2 percent in the second quarter. "Food services and drinking places" was the most significant contributor to employment growth, increasing 2.9 percent in the third quarter.
Total tourism-related output was $1.5 trillion in the third quarter of 2014. It consisted of $898.4 billion (58 percent) of direct tourism spending and $644.0 billion (42 percent) of indirect tourism-related spending.
Total tourism-related employment was 7.8 million jobs in the third quarter of 2014 and consisted of 5.5 million (71 percent) direct tourism jobs and 2.3 million (29 percent) indirect tourism-related jobs.