Did you know that you are part of a trillion-dollar industry, one that directly impacts an estimated 8 million jobs and generates nearly $160 billion in tax revenue? That’s according to the newest data published by the US Travel Association (USTA) for the 2022 travel year, which was presented to policymakers during the association’s recent advocacy event in Washington last week. The Destination Capitol Hill fly-in featured nearly 250 members of the travel industry meeting with 230 Congressional representatives and their teams.
Highlighting the importance of the travel industry to the US, the data found that travel generated $1.2 trillion in direct spending in the country, which is in line with pre-COVID figures—although there is work to do. When adjusted for inflation, overall travel spending remained down 14 percent in 2022. Also, notably 2 million jobs have gone unfilled in the travel industry since the pandemic.
Additional key data from USTA:
- Travel accounted for $1.2 trillion in direct spending in 2022, which produced an economic footprint of $2.6 trillion.
- In 2022, travel supported nearly 15 million American workers—8 million directly employed by the travel industry.
- Travel spending generated nearly $160 billion in total tax revenue, including $84 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2022.
- Travel-generated tax revenue alleviated an average of $1,270 in taxes per US household.
To draw attention to the issue, USTA has laid out several areas where the Biden administration could assist in the industry’s continued recovery. Among those goals are lowering via wait times (which have reached historic highs for certain countries), H-2B cap relief to address travel workforce shortfalls, Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization priorities, and fully fund the office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism.
“Travel rebounded strongly in 2022 thanks to robust demand for domestic leisure travel,” said USTA President & CEO Geoff Freeman. “Now we must focus on fully restoring the international and business travel segments to continue growing this critical driver of the US economy.”
Visit ustravel.org for more information.