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Travel and Tourism Means Big Business for the United States, Including Manufacturers

May 6, 2019

Phil Lovas is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism, Industry & Analysis for the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce

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May is World Trade Month, a time when we celebrate the importance of international trade to the economy and creating jobs.  I find it fitting that we also celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week in May, as International visitor spending in the United States represents 32 percent of U.S. services exports and 11 percent of all U.S. exports, goods and services combined.  In 2017, the United States welcomed nearly 77 million international visitors who spent more than $251 billion exploring the diverse cities, states, and regions of our nation.  Travel and tourism means big business for the United States, including manufacturers. While travel and tourism is a significant part of the U.S. services sector, the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office thought it would be an excellent opportunity to highlight travel and tourism’s impact on foreign direct investment into U.S. manufacturing.  You may be asking yourself, are there connections between manufacturing, foreign direct investment, and travel and tourism?  The answer is a resounding YES!  Not only do international visitors spend money while they are here, but they get to know our people, our places, and discover that the United States is a great place to do business and invest.

There are hundreds of manufacturing sites and factories throughout the United States that you can tour to watch U.S.-manufactured goods taking shape right before your eyes. Click here to find one near you. What better way to encourage foreign direct investment than to allow potential investors to see the production of made-in-America products?

To encourage more business investment in the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce will host the next SelectUSA Investment Summit on June 10-12 in Washington, DC. The SelectUSA Investment Summit promotes the United States as the world’s premier investment destination and connects qualified foreign firms with U.S. economic development organizations to facilitate business investment and job creation.

In conjunction with the Investment Summit, SelectUSA is partnering with economic development organizations across the U.S. to plan and promote spinoff events. These events provide potential investors the opportunity to see first-hand the American communities in which their businesses can grow and thrive. Check out the lineup of spinoff events to see how U.S. localities are attracting job-creating business investment.

A healthy travel and tourism industry can be one of the most significant contributors to economic development, attracting potential new businesses to destinations throughout the United States.

In support of travel and tourism and the benefits it brings to U.S. manufacturing, the U.S. Department of Commerce has teamed up with the state and territorial tourism offices across the United States to highlight manufacturing and factory tour opportunities.  Visitors can witness the production of made-in-America agriculture products, baseball bats, honey, kazoos, tractors, cookies, automobiles, bourbon, goat cheese, golf clubs, furniture, and canoes.

Whether you are interested in expanding your business footprint in the United States, investing in U.S. goods or simply planning your family’s summer holiday, please visit us on the web to find a tour in your next travel destination!

Follow ITA on Twitter as we highlight the importance of travel and tourism to economic development in the United States.