Archive for the ‘Travel and Tourism’ Category

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2012 International Travel and Tourism Shows Record Figures

February 22, 2013

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Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services in the International Trade Administration.

For some Americans, the phrase travel and tourism simply brings to mind family road-trips, Caribbean vacations, and foreign tourists at Disneyland. For me it brings to mind the successful business model of economic growth and job creation we support at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

In January of 2012, President Obama charged the Departments of Commerce and Interior with developing and presenting to him a National Travel & Tourism Strategy. The strategy, delivered in May 2012, is the first federal government-wide travel and tourism strategy and is already bearing fruit.

Last year, the travel and tourism industry contributed nearly $1.4 trillion to the U.S. GDP and provided more than 7.5 million jobs for American workers. In 2012, the industry created $168.1 billion worth of U.S. exports, representing a 10 percent growth over last year. Over a two-year period the industry has grown nearly 25 percent. Moreover, as in years past, the travel and tourism industry is the largest service-export industry in the United States.

You may be thinking, how is the spending of an international tourist an “export?”   That such spending is an export is illustrated through the following hypothetical: A Brazilian family travels to Miami for vacation. Upon arrival, the family books several nights in a U.S. hotel. The next morning, the family shops at U.S. retail stores, buys American products, and eats three meals a day at U.S. restaurants. The family pays U.S. taxes with every purchase. The family’s visit is by all accounts a foreign investment in the U.S. economy – and, by extension, a job creator.

Numerous opportunities exist for the continued success of the U.S. travel and tourism industry. Global trends point to increased foreign travel and a growing middle class in Brazil, China, and India. The industry stands poised to achieve even greater growth.

Consider these interesting facts:

  • By 2017, the number of travelers from Brazil, China, and India –as compared to 2011− is expected to grow by 83 percent, 259 percent, and 47 percent, respectively. This represents a total of 4.4 million additional travelers from these three countries by 2017.
  • On average, each tourist that we attract from these areas will spend $4,000 during their stay in the United States.

These facts point to an increase in global tourism that we as a nation must attract and welcome. And that is exactly what we intend to do.

In fact, our strategy sets the goal of attracting over 100 million international visitors annually by 2021. These international visitors are projected to spend an estimated $250 billion per year, creating jobs and spurring economic growth in communities across the country.

Here at the International Trade Administration, we are excited about the wealth of opportunities that lie ahead for our nation’s travel and tourism industry. We have room to grow and we are excited about doing everything we can to support the industry and the millions of America jobs the industry supports.

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Efforts to Make the U.S. the Number One Tourist Destination

December 4, 2012

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

Marc Buergi is a fellow in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs, and is an International Affairs graduate student at the George Washington University.

Many of us will be traveling during the upcoming holiday season.

Visiting family, friends and discovering new places is enjoyable. So is knowing that every time we travel we are also aiding our economy: travel expenditures help support the 7.5 million Americans employed in the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

Not only is the industry benefiting from domestic travelers like ourselves, but as more and more people visit our country from abroad, international visitor spending is becoming a growing share of the industry’s success in recent years. In fact, over 66 million tourists and travelers are expected to come to the U.S. this year alone, which would represent an increase of 6 percent over last year’s figures.

The good news is that upward trend is likely to continue: travel and tourism is expected to grow by 3.6 to 4.3 percent each year for the next five years according to a new report released this week.

The biggest growth markets are Asia and South America. The number of Chinese visitors alone is expected to increase by 259 percent in the next five years, while the number of Brazilian tourists is projected to swell by 83 percent.

The new travel forecast underscores the importance of international tourism to the U.S. economy, and the exponential opportunities these favorable trends can bring. That is why the President has set out a goal to make the United States the number one tourism destination worldwide.

In May 2012, the U.S. Commerce Department and the Department of the Interior presented the National Travel and Tourism Strategy to the President which is our roadmap to accomplish this ambitious goal. The Strategy lays out concrete steps which will be taken to make the U.S. even more attractive for international visitors, for instance travel promotion campaigns in key markets, improvements in the visa waiver program, and in the security procedures at U.S. airports.

The strategy is already bearing fruit. For example, last month Taiwan was included into the U.S. visa waiver program. The citizens of that country will now be able to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa – and many Taiwanese will use that opportunity.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is at the forefront of the government’s efforts to implement the Strategy. ITA is continuing to supply the travel and tourism industry with important data, including international arrivals to the United States, 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.

Earlier this month, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Kenneth Hyatt highlighted these efforts at a Washington Post Travel and Tourism Forum where he emphasized the need to consider the customer experience.

Millions of people from abroad would love to visit our county – the U.S. government is making sure that as many of them as possible actually choose the U.S. as their holiday destination.

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Taiwan’s Entry to Visa Waiver Program Will Boost Travel and Tourism in United States

November 7, 2012

Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. Follow him on Twitter @UnderSecSanchez.

We are on the brink of a new era. The United States’ commitment to Taiwan and its people have reached tremendous levels this year. As of November 1, 2012, people from Taiwan are able to visit the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The entry of Taiwan into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program will not only tremendously support the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, but also offer more opportunities to do business with each other, which enhances our economic partnership.

The goal of President Obama’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy is to attract 100 million visitors to the United States by the end of 2021. Taiwan will help us achieve this goal. During President Ma Ying-jeou’s time in office, the United States and Taiwan have made great progress towards our mutual goal of expanded opportunity and prosperity for both our nations. Taiwan has made great strides during the past few years to enhance its border security and travel systems. These efforts led Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to nominate and then approve Taiwan for the Visa Waiver Program.

The Visa Waiver Program will make international travel easier and encourage more visitors to the United States. Some found it frustrating to apply for a visa – from the fees to the long waits for interview appointments during school holidays and summer vacations. So we wanted to facilitate this process, while still being true to our national security goals. The recent decision to grant visa waiver status to travelers from Taiwan will make it easier for local businesspeople to explore opportunities in the United States and increase people-to-people interaction, which enhances our understanding of each other’s histories and cultures.

Taiwan is the 22nd largest source of foreign travelers to the United States, with approximately 300,000 travelers coming to the United States per year.  These travelers contributed $1 billion per year on travel to the United States. The commencement of the visa waiver program for Taiwan citizens will significantly boost these figures, making this another milestone in our growing bilateral commercial relationship. We look forward to welcoming more visitors from Taiwan throughout the United States.

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Promoting Travel and Tourism to Help Increase our Exports

August 29, 2012

Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services within the International Trade Administration

I was pleased to have the opportunity last Friday to speak at the Global Access Forum for Small Businesses hosted by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), where I highlighted how this Administration is supporting the National Export Initiative(NEI) through travel and tourism. The NEI is the Obama Administration’s commitment to serve as a full partner with U.S. businesses to promote American-made goods and services worldwide. Among other things, the NEI focuses on improving trade advocacy and promotion efforts to increase exports.

(pictured from L to R) Mike McCartney, President and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority (the state's tourism agency), Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, Assistant Secretary Nicole Lamb-Hale, and Bruce Coppa, Chief of Staff, Governor's Office. (Photo Hawaii Tourism Authority)

(pictured from L to R) Mike McCartney, President and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority (the state’s tourism agency), Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, Assistant Secretary Nicole Lamb-Hale, and Bruce Coppa, Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office. (Photo Hawaii Tourism Authority)

Generating increased spending from international travelers to the U.S. is just one way we are increasing exports, and the Obama Administration has developed the National Travel and Tourism Strategy to help make progress on that front. The National Strategy delineates the United States government’s plan to increase American jobs by attracting and welcoming 100 million international visitors, who we estimate will spend $250 million annually, within 10 years. 

(Read the blog post by Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on the National Travel and Tourism Strategy for more information.)

I was pleased to share the Department of Commerce’s efforts on the National Travel and Tourism Strategy with the Global Access Forum for Small Business, an Ex-Im Bank initiative to increase the number of small businesses exporting goods and services, thereby maintaining and creating U.S. jobs. As a part of achieving these export goals, the Global Access Forum was an opportunity to encourage small businesses to make the investments that will allow them to benefit from increased tourism and spending by international visitors.

Hawaii was an ideal backdrop for this meeting, because it represents the diversity of experiences that America has to offer international visitors.

Overseas travel to Hawaii in 2011 totaled 2.3 million visitors, up 7 percent from 2010. The Hawaiian Islands were the fifth most visited U.S. destination by overseas travelers in 2011.

The efforts of Hawaiian businesses to sell their products and services to international travelers are a significant contributor to the United States’ success in international travel and tourism exports – which represents 11.3 percent of world traveler spending.

In fact, one quarter (25 percent) of all U.S. services exports come from travel and tourism receipts, and more than 1.2 million jobs in the United States are supported by international travelers.

It was my pleasure to engage the Hawaiian travel and tourism industry as we build on last year’s record $153 billion in travel and tourism exports for the U.S. and work to meet our goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors by the end of 2021 to increase American jobs.

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Transportation: Helping the Economy Move Forward

August 7, 2012

Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. Follow him on Twitter @UnderSecSanchez.

Healthy economic development depends on a healthy transportation system.  That’s because people depend on everything from boats to trains to get to work, move their products, and help customers shop at their stores.

Across the globe, as economies push for more growth and development, there is increasing demand for transportation-related products and services, presenting an incredible opportunity for U.S. businesses.

Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez during a ceremony formalizing a partnership to promote exports between ITA and the American Association of Port Authorities.

Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez during a ceremony formalizing a partnership to promote exports between ITA and the American Association of Port Authorities.

For that exact reason, a major focus of our work at the International Trade Administration is on the transportation sector.  As you’ll see in this issue of International Trade Update, we’ve been working to help U.S. businesses in this field succeed in a number of ways.

For example, I was proud to participate in the Farnborough International Air Show, the world’s largest aerospace trade exhibition of 2012. Every other year, the global aerospace industry descends on England to exhibit their latest products and initiate partnerships. This year, $47 billion worth — that’s billion with a ‘b,’ — of orders were announced during the show.

As the largest aerospace industry in the world, this one sector contributed more than $89 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy in 2011, a 9 percent increase over the previous year. Furthermore, according to a study by the Economic and Statistics Administration of the Department of Commerce, aerospace directly supported more jobs through exports — 488,000 —than any other industry in 2011.

Other promising transportation sectors that achieved significant export shipments last year include motor vehicles ($63.4 billion), motor vehicle parts ($53.2 billion) and ships and boats ($2.4 billion).  Behind all these numbers is a significant story. Every time a business makes a sale abroad, that impacts bottom lines, jobs, communities and futures here at home.

Clearly, there are significant possibilities in this space. And the good news is that in the first five months of 2012, transportation equipment accounted for nearly $101 billion of U.S. exports, up 17.2 percent from the same months of 2011.

ITA is committed to keeping this momentum going. We continue to hold trade missions focused on transportation, including some later this year to South Africa, Zambia and Turkey.

We support the President’s recent announcement to help modernize and expand 5 major ports in the United States, thereby helping American businesses reach overseas markets more efficiently.

ITA is committed to keeping this momentum going.  We continue to raise a lot of awareness for our programs and will work hard to promote international trade, open foreign markets, and create jobs and opportunities for the American people.

Together, we can help the world meet its transportations needs far into the future, while strengthening businesses on our shores.

Related

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International Visitors to the U.S. Jumped 9 Percent in February 2012

April 27, 2012

Claudia Wolfe is an Economist in the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) within the International Trade Administration where she focuses on international visitation to the United States.

As Pow Wow winds down this week, it’s great news that international visitation to the U.S. is up this year over last year.

The number of international visitors to the United States rose 9 percent in February from a year ago, after record arrivals in 2011 and an increase in visits in January 2012.

A total 4.2 million international visitors came to the U.S., with the largest number from nearby Canada and Mexico in February of this year.

Of the top 10 nations sending visitors to the U.S., two countries posted double-digit growth: Brazil and China. Brazil is up more than 27 percent in 2012 over last year with 294,052 arriving in the U.S. and visitors from China so far in 2012 total 227,856, up 40 percent over last year.

Miami, New York’s JFK and Los Angeles LAX airports were the three busiest ports of entry for international travelers in February.

For more information, visit OTTI’s monthly visitation page

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Travel Forecast Projects Increase in International Visitors between Four and Five Percent by 2016

April 25, 2012

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

Mark Brown is a Senior Market Research Analyst with the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries in the Manufacturing and Services division of the International Trade Administration

This week is a pretty exciting time for the travel and tourism industry. The U.S. Travel Association’s annual International Pow Wow trade show event, is taking place in Los Angeles and was the venue for Commerce Secretary John Bryson to release the 2012-2016 travel forecast. The U.S. Department of Commerce produces a semi-annual travel forecast, one in the spring to coincide with the Pow Wow event, and one in the fall to coincide with an annual travel industry marketing outlook event.

Our latest forecast shows that international traveler volume to the United States is expected to build on the two consecutive visitor volume records set in 2010 and 2011 and grow at a four percent to five percent rate from 2012 through 2016.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez cuts the ribbon to open Pow Wow 2012 with Travel and Tourism officials

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez cuts the ribbon to open Pow Wow 2012 with Travel and Tourism officials

When compared to the fall 2011 forecast, the spring 2012 forecast represents a further downward revision in visitor volume growth, and the fall had been revised downward compared to the spring 2011 forecast. These revisions reflect several factors, including 2011’s solid, but below-forecast performance, and the International Monetary Fund’s revision of economic conditions for many of the U.S. top visitor origin markets.

That’s the bad news. But the good news is that the forecast still projects solid growth in visitor volume over the 2012 to 2016 period…and at a level higher than the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s forecast for the world, which is between 3.5 percent and 3.8 percent annual growth over this period.

The current forecast for the USA also does not yet factor in the potential impact from the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 legislation, which was signed into law in March 2010. The law established the non-profit Corporation for Travel Promotion, now known as BrandUSA, and a funding mechanism to market the USA as a premier travel destination. BrandUSA just unveiled their marketing plan at the Los Angeles Pow Wow event. Their impact on travel to the USA would be above and beyond the Department’s forecast levels.

If the forecast holds true, visitor volume would grow from 62.3 million in 2011 to reach 65.4 million in 2012 and 76.6 million by 2016. This translates into total growth of 14.4 million additional visitors in 2016 compared to 2011, growth of 23% versus the 2011 level, and a compounded annual growth rate of 4.2 percent.

Related: TAKE-OFF! (traveling, that is) New Travel Indicators Website Launched
International Visitors to the U.S. Jumped 9 Percent in February 2012

Tourists from all world regions are forecast to grow over the five-year period, ranging from a low for the Caribbean (+9 percent), to a high for Asia (+49 percent), South America (+47 percent), and Africa (+47 percent). All but three of the top-40 visitor origin countries are forecast to grow from 2011 through 2016. Countries with the largest total growth percentages include China (+198 percent), Brazil (+70 percent), Argentina (+46 percent), Australia (+45 percent), Korea (+35 percent), and Venezuela (+35 percent).

It’s important to monitor the fast-growing markets, but what matters more are the largest-growth markets. The North America world region is forecast to account for the largest proportion of the total visitor growth of 14 million visitors (42 percent). Asia (25 percent), Western Europe (11 percent), and South America (13 percent) are expected to account for the bulk of the remaining 58 percent of total growth in visitor volume forecast in 2016 compared to 2011 actual volume.

The countries contributing the most to total growth by 2016 are Canada (additional 4.47 million visitors), China (2.16 additional visitors), Mexico (1.54 million additional visitors, Brazil (1.06 million additional visitors), and Australia (463 thousand additional visitors).

To learn more about the spring 2012 Travel and Tourism Forecast, visit www.trade.gov. To learn more about Commerce’s efforts to increase travel to the U.S., visit www.commerce.gov.

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