Archive for the ‘Service Industries’ Category

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Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

June 4, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando | Department of Commerce

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

On Monday, Secretary Pritzker traveled to Orlando and spoke at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual IPW event. IPW is the world’s largest travel and tourism trade show dedicated to the sale of U.S. goods and services. During her remarks, she also issued the 2015 Spring Travel Forecast, which showcases America as a premier travel destination with continued international visitation growth through 2020.

The Administration recognizes the vital importance of the travel and tourism sector to the economic health of the United States. In 2014, nearly 75 million people from around the world visited the United States, spending about $221.6 billion, on hotels, cars, food, and entertainment, and supporting 1.1 million American jobs. With global competition to attract international visitors rising,  the Department of Commerce and the Administration are focused on efforts to keep visitors coming back to the United States.

In 2012, President Obama launched the first-ever National Travel and Tourism Strategy, establishing the goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the United States and having them spend $250 billion in 2021. Through stronger public-private partnerships, the Administration has made progress on a number of efforts to improve the experience of traveling to the United States, including:

  • Reducing visa wait times at our embassies and consulates around the world
  • Expanding preclearance into nine new countries (including Belgium, Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands, the United Kingdom), which will allow passengers to have a better, faster, and more efficient experience entering the United States
  • Instituting Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry, which expedites the entry of pre-approved, low-risk American citizens and lawful permanent residents into the country
  • Expanding the Visa Waiver Program to 38 countries
  • Creating Brand USA, a first-of-its-kind partnership that brings the public sector together with nearly 500 organizations to collaborate on consumer campaigns, to cooperate on marketing programs, and to facilitate travel and trade outreach
  • Released a series of Airport Action Plans that will simplify and streamline entry for visitors at 17 of our top U.S. airports

America remains a premier travel destination for international visitors and the Administration is committed to working hard to maintain the best-in-class experiences for all guests coming to our nation’s shores.

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International Visitors Choose New York, Florida, and California as Favorite Destinations in 2014

June 3, 2015

Safwaan Brown is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs.

New York, Florida, and California topped the wish list for overseas visitors to the United States in 2014 – each setting records for international visitation last year. In fact, New York was the most visited state by overseas travelers for a 14th consecutive year. Florida and California registered 18 and 11 percent increases in visitors from 2013, according to the 2014 Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT) released by the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office on June 1. SIAT estimates are currently available for 23 states.

Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Guam, New Jersey and Pennsylvania (tied) complete the top 10 states visited in 2014. Ten states experienced double-digit increases in visitors, with Georgia and Washington posting the highest growth rates at 22 and 21 percent, respectively. In addition to New York, Florida, and California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Washington, Utah, and Virginia set records for overseas visitation from 1997-2014.

Not surprisingly, the top five most-visited cities by overseas travelers were found to be New York (New York City), Florida (Miami, Orlando), and California (Los Angeles and San Francisco). Las Vegas, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Chicago round out the top 10 most popular cities among overseas visitors. Fifteen cities posted increases in visitation in 2014, with 11 of the 23 surveyed destinations achieving double-digit growth. San Diego (25 percent) and Atlanta (24 percent) registered the largest visitation increases.

In rank order, New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Diego, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.), Atlanta, Seattle, and the Florida Keys all set overseas visitation records between 1997 – 2014.

Upticks in leisure travel and visiting friends and relatives accounted for the overall increase in visitors, according to the survey. Overall, the average length of stay and total travel party size increased in 2014, as did the number of overseas travelers coming to the United States on business. The survey also noted an increase in travel by automobile and cruises.

The SIAT, launched in 1983, estimates overseas visitor volumes to destinations (states and cities) and provides traveler characteristics of those visitors from overseas and Mexico (air) to the United States and its destinations.

 

 

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Enjoy All that America Has to Offer – Celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week!

May 6, 2015

Kelly Craighead is the Executive Director of the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office. 

Many tiny images highlighting U.S. travel destinationsThis post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

It’s National Travel and Tourism Week and there is a lot to celebrate! Last year, 74.7 million international visitors to the United States generated $220.6 billion dollars in spending – a record number of visitors and a record year. Overall, the travel and tourism industry generated $1.5 trillion in total sales in 2014, which supported 7.8 million U.S. jobs.

If you’ve ever wondered why the U.S. Department of Commerce is interested in travel and tourism, the reason is simple: Commerce wants to help more U.S. businesses export. Travel and tourism, considered a services export, generates export dollars when international visitors to the United States spend their money on U.S. flag carriers to get here, or when they spend money on travel related items including lodging, food, attractions, shopping or use transportation within the country.

When people visit the United States to explore our cities and visit our attractions, they experience the unique diversity of our people, geography, and products. These visitors return to their home countries with an affinity for the USA brand and may seek out American goods sold in their home countries that remind them of their travels across the United States. Thus, new opportunities for U.S. companies to sell their products in international markets are created and U.S. exports increase.

Recognizing the important role of travel and tourism to the U.S. economy, in our National Travel and Tourism Strategy, we set a lofty goal: to attract 100 million international visitors annually by the end of 2021. With the full support of the Obama administration and an actively engaged set of vital industry partners, I’m pleased to say we are on track to meet this ambitious goal.

To that end, during this auspicious week, for all we have done together—and the more we have to do—I, along with my colleagues at the Commerce Department, salute each and every travel professional for the impactful contributions their organizations make to the U.S. economy.

I encourage all Americans to assist the United States in welcoming our visiting international guests. Help them see the beauty and wonder in your hometown, your state capital or your favorite American attraction. Consider pitching in to spruce up the public lands and waterways in your area or be a “voluntourist” and lead nature hikes or birding quests. You can also visit a museum or historic house. Get out a map and see what you can experience for yourself within a day’s drive of your house!

Enjoy all that America has to offer. Celebrate our nation’s great places, great spaces, and great faces. Discover this land like never before.

For information on travel and tourism, please visit http://travel.trade.gov. For great ideas about visiting the United States, please visit www.discoveramerica.com.

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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.

https://tradegov.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/istock_000021187484small.jpg

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!

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Study in the States, Inshallah

June 19, 2014

Doug Barry of ITA’s Global Knowledge Center and Senior Commercial Officer Dao Le of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait produced the “Study in the States” video series.

Faris al-Obaid is one Kuwaiti citizen featured in the video series who enjoyed his experience as a student in the United States.

Faris al-Obaid is one Kuwaiti citizen who enjoyed his experience as a student in the United States. You can see his story, and the story of other citizens, courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.

Every year thousands of international students travel to America to pursue degrees at our world-class colleges and universities. In fact, educating international students represents a huge chunk of our annual service exports.

Not only do students gain valuable experience studying abroad, but they often return to the United States after graduating and bring family members and friends who help stimulate the travel and tourism industry. So, it’s no wonder then that the U.S. government works hard to recruit more students, especially because there is a lot of competition from countries that are also popular destinations for students, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.

To remain competitive, the Departments of State and Commerce teamed up with the embassy in Kuwait City to produce short video spots aimed at Kuwaiti high school students to highlight the benefits of studying abroad in America.

The videos address some common beliefs Kuwaitis have when they think about studying abroad – commonly that the process of applying for a visa is overly burdensome or that it’s difficult to fit in in the United States. The spots are designed to assure young students that these beliefs are untrue.

The videos feature Kuwaiti citizens who graduated from U.S. schools, and now enjoy rewarding careers, which they attribute to their time studying in the United States.

The first group of videos includes speakers such as a senior advisor to the Kuwait government, the regional sales manager for Microsoft, and a high school English language teacher. Some key points they discuss are that:

  • The visa application process is not discriminatory.
  • There are important deadlines the applicants need to adhere by.
  • Americans are welcoming to foreign students and universities are accepting to the different culture these students bring with them. For example, often colleges offer prayer rooms and halal food for Muslim students
  • Studying abroad in America is extremely important in creating an independent, creative, and self-assured student.

Through this program, we hope that international students will feel more comfortable applying to American study abroad programs and at the end of the day be better prepared for their quest to “Study in the States, Inshallah (if God wills it).”

 

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Transport Company Drives U.S. Service Exports

May 23, 2014

Doug Barry is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Global Knowledge Center.

U.S. exports of services topped $682 billion in 2013, up $50 billion from 2012. As we explained in a recent blog post, service exports come from a number of industries, from medicine to law.

One other important contributor is transportation services, like those provided by Virginia-based MV Global Transport, which organizes bus and other kinds of transportation for some of the most exciting events you’ve seen around the world.

The company got into global business with help from the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Commercial Service, and now relies on international sales for 100 percent of its revenue.

Brad Kurtz, the company’s president, recently shared his company’s story with Doug Barry of ITA’s Global Knowledge Center.

Barry: You have some pretty impressive clients.

Kurtz: We provide special event transportation for large events all around the world. We have been fortunate enough to support the Olympics – in Salt Lake, Vancouver, as well as in London.

Barry: How did you get into international business?

Kurtz: We got in through the U.S. Commercial Service. They assisted us with work in Doha (Qatar) for the Asian games in 2006 and then also down in South Africa for the World Cup with introductions through their office there.

Barry: How did they do the introduction?

Kurtz: We were invited to a number of networking functions. They brought in the South African Football Delegation into Washington, D.C., and we had the opportunity to meet with them. From there they helped us further along our negotiations and assisted us while we were in South Africa.

Barry: How important has exporting been to your bottom line?

Kurtz: It’s the only way we have survived. Being a service industry, it’s difficult. You have the emerging markets, you have new markets. How do you know where to find the business? With the expertise and industry knowledge of the U.S. government, it’s been instrumental in helping us.

Barry: What percentage of your revenues is international now?

Kurtz: Currently, it’s 100 percent. I would have to say that the U.S. Commercial Service has helped us with about 80-plus percent of that.

Barry: Any new projects coming up?

Kurtz: We just opened up an office in Brazil, as well as in Qatar. So we are working already on the World Cup coming up in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

Barry: Any advice for U.S. companies that are thinking about exporting or expanding their international markets?

Kurtz: Enjoy the Gold Key program offered by the Department of Commerce. It’s very beneficial and definitely will help curb any concerns you may have in entering an international market.

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U.S. Workers Are At Your Service

May 22, 2014

Barb Rawdon is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s Professional Services & Education Team. Natalie Soroka is an economist in the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis. 

A dentist performs work on a patient with the help of a dental assistant

Many service industry professionals work in high-skilled fields like health care, science, and law. (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet)

Fact: U.S. service industries support four out of five jobs in the country.

I can’t think of a better statistic to show how important the non-manufacturing sector is to the U.S. economy.

As crucial as service industries are, they’re also often misunderstood. It’s common for observers to limit perception of service industries to food preparation and service workers, but the industry also includes scientists, healthcare providers, financial analysts, architects and engineers, lawyers, accountants, and many other professions.

According to the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) service-sector index, April was the 51st consecutive month of growth for economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector, with the most job growth happening in the higher-skilled, higher-paying professions.

These professional services are also key to U.S. participation in the global economy. U.S. service exports totaled a record $682 billion in 2013 with a trade surplus of $229 billion. Workers in export-intensive services industries earn 15 to 20 percent more than comparable workers in other services industries.

Services trade connects our world through integrated supply chains, telecommunications, financial services, computer services, energy services, environmental services, audiovisual services, a broad range of business and professional services. Modern services enhance innovation and cut production costs for manufactured goods while increasing quality and variety, benefitting consumers.

Our team is proud to work with businesses in the service industries, professional associations, and organizations in both the public and private sector.

For more information on trends in services trade, see “Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2013 Annual Report.”

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