Travel & Tourism Demand 2005
Personal Travel & Tourism
World: $2.8 trillion
U.S.: $862 billion
World: $672.5 billion
U.S: $173 billion
World: $895.8 billion
U.S.: $137.6 billion
World: $129.7 billion
U.S.: $28.7 billion
Total Consumption (subtotal)
World: $4.5 trillion
U.S.: $1.2 trillion
World: $1 trillion
U.S.: $282 billion
World: $750.4 billion
U.S.: $94.6 billion
Government Expenditures (Collective)
World: $170.6 billion
U.S.: $74.7 billion
World: $6.5 trillion
U.S.: $1.7 trillion
Its difficult to conceptualize a
sum as large as $6.5 trillion, so perhaps this will help put it in
perspective: If every one of those dollars were a goldfish, and
they were laid out in a row, head-to-tail, they would reach from
Earth to Pluto and back six times!
Im sorry. I just
made that up. Its completely untrue (I think). But it doesnt really
matter how far a trail of 6.5 trillion goldfish will take you,
because whether the measure is dollars or goldfish or hamburgers
sold, you will not be able to wrap your mind around 6.5
Lets try another
futile exercise: Define the travel and tourism industries. Here at
Travel Weekly, we say we cover the travel industry because we
report cruise, tour, aviation, hospitality, car rental, theme park,
casino, rail and destination marketing activity, as well as retail
distribution and the technology that supports all of the
But we sure skimp
on many activities and services travelers find important --
restaurant, theater and limousine services, to name a few -- and I
cant recall any coverage we may have ever given to campgrounds,
taxis, fudge shops (Im sorry, shoppes) or service stations, though
they all figure prominently in many peoples vacations.
The World Travel
and Tourism Council, which is holding its annual global summit in
Washington this week, has done a reasonably good job of
accomplishing the impossible: They have given some meaning to $6.5
trillion, and they have defined the travel industry in a way that
reasonable people of all nations can agree upon.
Before the WTTC
developed a standard definition of the travel and tourism
industries and a methodology for measuring their economic impact on
the global economy ($6.5 trillion, if you havent guessed by now),
nations tended to use different and incompatible methodologies that
made comparisons and global estimates impossible.
U.N.-sanctioned methodologies for modeling and forecasting, the
WTTC is now able to produce what it calls harmonized results and
forecasts for more than 174 countries around the world.
Or, as Bill Poling,
Travel Weeklys news and opinion editor, summed it up for me: In
other words, apples and apples.
chart shows the breakdown for the world total, with comparable
figures for the U.S. on the right.
Personal travel and
tourism represents domestic spending on goods and services, such as
transportation, lodging and meals, plus products related to travel,
such as batteries, clothing, luggage, etc.
Visitor exports are
the expenditures of foreign visitors, and government expenditures
are the value of visitor services provided or subsidized by the
worlds governments, such as art museums and national
The bottom portion
of the chart measures the components of demand.
measures the cost of infrastructure borne by private companies and
include a camera made in China and purchased by a tourist in
France, as well as cruise ships or aircraft built in Europe for use
in North America.
expenditures (collective) are that portion of general or collective
government services used by travelers and tourism providers, such
as police and fire protection, sanitation services, etc.
The common wisdom
about lies, damn lies and statistics may well hold true, but I find
the aura of credibility -- and a little better understanding of
what $6.5 trillion in economic impact represents for the worlds
nations -- when I look at that chart.