The Economic Impacts of Tourism in 2012: International Travel Drives Record-Breaking Year
Sustainable tourism continues to provide the United States with a steady, stable and secure source of economic growth in 2012. The economic impacts of tourism are primarily driven by the record number of international visitors the travel and tourism industry have seen this year. Data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) shows international visitors have spent an estimated $82.2 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services in the first half of 2012. This is reported to be an increase of 11 percent when compared to the same period last year.
International travelers are more likely to book extended stays and drive revenue with liberal shopping and spending habits. Purchases of ancillary goods and services totaled $10.6 billion during June. An increase of 7 percent compared to the same month a year prior.
Tour companies and luxury-service travel providers are keen on reaching out to international travelers in hopes of cultivating the tourism market for further growth. Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel association affirms the importance of tour operators and services by stating, “America’s economic recovery is being driven largely by the travel industry.” An assertion that is by no means far-off. Dow continues by stating travel and tourism is a “tremendous opportunity” and that “more can be done” to cater and encourage the growth of international travel in the U.S.