Catch the Rising Tide of U.S. Travel Jobs, Exports

August 14, 2014

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Isabel Hill is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office. 

Whatever your fancy – toes in sand, skis in fresh powder, or your golf ball in the middle of the fairway (we hope) – your travel plans support millions of jobs throughout the United States.


See the sights, support jobs!

We have the data to prove it: New data from the Department of Commerce show the travel and tourism industry supported 7.6 million jobs in 2013, up 146,000 jobs from 2012.

The data also show that spending on travel and tourism-related goods and services totaled $1.5 trillion in 2013, a 4.1 percent increase from 2012.

This means that as you travel in the United States while taking time to unwind, you are supporting jobs and economic development around the country – so even while you sleep you are helping to grow our economy and create jobs!

Exports also play a major role in the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

When international travelers visit the United States, they inject billions and billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.  So when they book hotel rooms,  rent cars, or reserve tee times, that counts as an export even though no goods or services leave the United States (unless they bring home a new digital camera or set of golf clubs).

70mil international visitors spent $214.8bil in the U.S.

And travel and tourism is a major export industry for our country – in fact, it’s the largest U.S. services export. A record 70 million international visitors came to the United States in 2013, spending a record $214.8 billion. That’s about $590 million contributed to the U.S. economy per day!

It is no accident that we are seeing this growth. The National Travel and Tourism Strategy launched in 2012 lays out a plan to encourage even more international visitors to come to the United States, setting the goal of welcoming 100 million visitors per year by 2021.

This strategy is making the United States even more attractive as a travel destination by working across government and with the private sector to:

We look forward to seeing these numbers continue to grow, and we hope to see more of you checking in at new U.S. destinations to check out all the United States has to offer!


  1. Any data from 2011 you could link me to?

  2. I couldn’t agree more about the importance of promoting travel and tourism in the United States as an area for job growth. The hotel / resort industry did a massive build out prior to the Lehman / sub-prime crisis and as a result numerous properties remain under-utilized.

    Combine that over-supply of rooms with a substantially weakened US dollar since 2009 and foreigners ought to be looking at a US vacation as a great bargain.

  3. 214.8 billion that’s a great number

  4. As a Canadian, I totally agree. WIth the fluctuating Cad$ it’s ever more attractive to vacation south of the border. We spent around $15K last year on a Hawaiian Vacation. We could have spent that money in Canada, but we didn’t. And yes, entering and exiting the U.S. is fairly unpleasant with punitive border checks/etc.

  5. Couldn’t agree more. 590 million usd per day is the answer!

  6. What’s interesting is that the biggest growth we’ve had in the last 24 months is hotels, restaurants, and sports and leisure entities asking for more targeted marketing towards visitors coming from overseas to the U.S. We’re currently building apps to help hotels cross sell products and services to individuals booking hotel rooms. It’s truly a global world we now live in.

  7. And counting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 470 other followers

%d bloggers like this: