The travel and tourism industry consists of an extremely broad range of businesses and services, and there was broad yet modest employment gains across many of its sectors.
Hotels have seldom been busier, restaurants have wait times, and planes, as we know, are packed.
The U.S. travel and tourism industriy is rebounding from the recession and is enjoying revived demand from domestic travelers and foreign visitors, which results in more jobs across travel sectors.
Travel and tourism-related employment increased 1.9 percent to 7.6 million jobs in 2013, a gain of 146,000 jobs from 2012, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The larger workforce comes directly as a result of a 4 percent increase in industry-related spending, totaling almost $1.5 trillion in 2013.
The U.S. travel and tourism industry can be measured in the goods and services sold to visitors, including hotel rooms, meals, plane tickets, and souvenirs.
Industry growth, up 3.5 percent in 2013, outpaced broader economic growth as measured by a 1.9 percent increased in GDP that year, the Depattment of Commerce states.. Total industry exports have more than doubled since 2003 and now account for almost one-third of all U.S. service exports.
The food services industry is the largest direct employer (5.4 million) in the travel and tourism industry, followed closely by the traveler accommodations sector (1.4 million) and transportation (1 million).
The data, provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, go into even more detail below:
U.S. Travel Employment by Sector 2013
|SECTOR||EMPLOYMENT (thousands)||Percent Change (2013 v. 2012)|
|All Tourism Industries||5,366||2.2|
|Vacation Home Rentals||8||0|
|Food Services and Drinking Places||1,771||3.9|
|Air Transportation Services||441||-0.7|
|All Other Transportation-Related Industries||610||1.8|
|Rail Transportation Services||10||6.3|
|Water Transportation Services||30||1.8|
|Interurban Bus Transportation||19||-1.3|
|Interurban Charter Bus Transportation||13||-0.9|
|Urban Transit Systems & Other Transportation||47||2|
|Scenic & Sightseeing Transportation Services||15||3.3|
|Automotive Equipment Rental & Leasing||93||3.7|
|Automotive Repair Services||45||-0.3|
|Parking Lots & Garages||16||4.2|
|Travel Arrangement & Reservation Services||172||0.9|
|Gasoline Service Stations||92||2.8|
|Recreation, Entertainment & Shopping||966||0.5|
|Recreation & Entertainment||534||0.8|
|Motion Pictures & Performing Arts||23||1.2|
|All Other Recreation & Entertainment||65||1.2|
|All Other Inudstries||204||2.3|
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
Photo credit: American Airlines employees at LaGuardia Airport examing the airline's then-new livery. Dennis Schaal