New government statistics add evidence that
the travel and tourism industry is solidly on the road to recovery.
According to the
Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department
of Commerce, sales of tourism-related goods and services totaled
$960.7 billion in 2004, an increase of 6.7% over 2003.
The BEA reported
that direct tourism sales (goods and services sold directly to
visitors) amounted to $548.6 billion, while sales of goods and
services used to produce what visitors purchase accounted for
The BEA noted that
the growth in direct tourism sales was strong across all sectors,
including accommodations (up 5.9%), passenger air transportation
(up 6.9%) and dining establishments (9.7%).
fourth-quarter 2004 remained strong, according to the BEA. Hotel
sales were up 10.1%, while restaurants saw a 9.1% increase in
business. Air sales were down 2.1% compared with fourth-quarter
The BEA reported
that total sales increased for the ninth consecutive quarter,
growing 6.5% in fourth-quarter 2004.
The BEA figures
also show that direct tourism-related employment increased for the
third consecutive quarter, growing 0.8%, or 11,100 employees
(seasonally adjusted at annual rates), in third-quarter 2004, the
most recent quarter for which data is available.
increases occurred in food and beverage services, traveler
accommodations and recreation and entertainment, which posted job
gains of 8,300; 3,800; and 1,400, respectively.
The largest decline
occurred in air transportation services, where the number of jobs
fell by 1,800, the BEA said.
The data was
derived from the Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts, which gauge
the economic impact of the tourism industry.
Funding from the
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade
Administration -- which is within in the Commerce Department --
supports the accounts.