Travel Exports Reach All-Time High in 2011
February 10, 2012
Washington, DC - David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today's Commerce Department announcement on international trade:
“After faltering the prior two months, U.S. travel exports ended 2011 on a high note, with exports rising by $121 million from November to $12.9 billion in December. With travel exports accounting for 10 percent of the December rise, total exports of goods and services increased $1.2 billion in December, while imports rose to a stronger $3 billion, resulting in a monthly trade deficit of $48.8 billion – the highest since June.
“2011 was one for the record books for travel exports. Up from $134.4 billion in 2010, the travel industry generated $152.4 billion in exports last year based on today’s December international trade report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Following an 11.7 percent gain in 2010, travel exports accelerated last year and grew by a stronger 13.4 percent – the fastest pace in three years. As a result, 2011 travel exports surpassed the previous peak set in 2008 by $11 billion and helped the industry post a record trade surplus of $41.9 billion.
“With travel exports eclipsing the exports of both machinery and computer products, as well as agriculture sales abroad, the positive impact of international travelers visiting the United States has been one of the key reasons why the travel industry has reclaimed nearly 50 percent of the jobs lost during the great recession – much better than the rest of the economy. Facilitating even more travel to the U.S. from the rest of the world is one of the most efficient and least-costly job programs in existence.
“With the recent announcement of a national strategy to boost travel to the U.S. by the White House, the travel industry should continue to be a leading force in the recovery.”
Huether is available for further analysis and comment.
Cathy Keefe 202-408-2183
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.8 trillion in economic output and supports 14 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.