Inflation-adjusted spending on travel and tourism increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the second quarter of the year, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. This was slower than the 4.9 percent growth rate in the first quarter. Still, travel and tourism spending outpaced growth in the total U.S. economy. U.S. gross domestic product rose at a 1.7 percent pace in the second quarter after a 2.0 percent growth rate in the first quarter.
The second-quarter increase was largely driven by an 8.7 percent annualized rise in real tourism spending on transportation-related items. That followed a 3.5 percent growth rate in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, spending on passenger air fares dropped at a rate of 3.6 percent in the second quarter after increasing at a 9.8 percent pace in the first quarter. Inflation-adjusted spending on lodging grew at a rate of 3.8 percent in the second quarter, slower than the first quarter’s 5.9 percent pace.
Overall, growth in prices for travel and tourism goods and services slowed. Prices increased at a rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter after rising at a pace of 6.2 percent in the first 3 months of the year. The slowdown mainly reflected a decline in gasoline prices, which also lowered prices for transportation-related commodities. Prices for passenger air fares also decelerated, reflecting a decline in fuel costs. In contrast, prices for lodging accelerated.
Total employment in the travel and tourism industries increased at a 1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter to more than 7.6 million jobs. That followed a 2.6 percent growth rate in the first quarter. By comparison, overall U.S. employment increased 1.0 in the second quarter after increasing 2.1 percent in the first quarter.
Hotel and restaurant workers showed the biggest upturn, growing at a 2.1 percent pace in the second quarter after a 0.3 percent growth rate in the first quarter. Employment in recreation and entertainment fell at a 3.2 percent pace in the second quarter, in contrast to a 4.3 percent growth rate in the prior period .
To learn more about travel and tourism spending read the full report.