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National Restaurant Association - Travel spending highest in 6 years

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Travel spending highest in 6 years

The recent announcement that travel and tourism spending has increased means good news for the restaurant industry. International travelers to the United States support more than 1 million travel and tourism jobs.

The Commerce Department recently announced that real travel and tourism spending rose 8 percent in the third quarter of 2010, the greatest quarterly increase since the first quarter of 2004.

The remarkable growth last year is excellent news for small and medium-sized businesses, said Francisco Sãnchez, undersecretary of commerce for international trade. Those businessess represent more than 80 percent of the travel and tourism industry.

International travel directly supports more than 1 million of the 8 million jobs tied to travel and tourism in the United States. Tourism-related employment rose 2 percent in the third quarter.

Passenger air transportation, lodging and restaurant spending account for much of the recent growth in travel and tourism spending.

In the third quarter of 2010, passenger air transportation spending rose 29.8 percent, spurred by lower fares. As for traveler accommodations, real spending grew 9.5 percent in the same period.

The Commerce Department expects international visits to grow 6 percent to 9 percent a year through 2015.

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