Direct Tourism Output -- all of the accommodations, transportation
and souvenirs purchased by travelers in the U.S. -- increased at an
annual rate of 2.3% during the first quarter, according to figures
released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a unit of the Commerce
In contrast, the real
gross domestic product in the first quarter grew at an annual rate
Prices for tourism
goods and services increased 3.4% in the first quarter from
Overall, direct and
indirect tourism-related sales totaled $1.3 trillion during the
first quarter, including $717.9 billion in direct goods and $546.4
billion in indirect goods and services sold to travelers, the BEA
The increase in
consumer travel purchases helped bolster first-quarter tourism
employment, which grew 3.1% year over year.
increased 6.3% in fourth-quarter 2006; by comparison, overall U.S.
employment rose only 1.5% in that quarter.
The BEA estimated
that the tourism industry employed 8.6 million people during the
fourth quarter of 2006. Of that, 5.9 million were employed in jobs
directly related to the industry, while 2.7 million were employed
The BEA said indirect
travel-related jobs involved companies that, for instance, produced
the ingredients used to make meals served to airline passengers and
plastics used for souvenirs.
Employment within the
lodging industry grew 4.6% in the fourth quarter from
fourth-quarter 2005, which the BEA said was the largest increase
since the fourth quarter of 1999.
in air transportation services during the fourth quarter increased
1%, an improvement after seven straight quarters of
transportation grew 3.1% during the first quarter.
Prices for air
tickets inched up 0.1% in the first quarter.
Lodging sales rose
2.9% in the first quarter. Lodging prices were up 2.9%, marking the
sixth consecutive quarter of price growth.