Real spending on travel and tourism accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2014, increasing at an annual rate of 4.5 percent after increasing 3.4 percent (revised) in the third quarter. By comparison, real gross domestic product (GDP) decelerated, increasing 2.2 percent (second estimate) in the fourth quarter after increasing 5.0 percent. For the year, real spending on travel and tourism increased 2.5 percent in 2014 after increasing 3.6 percent in 2013. By comparison, real GDP increased 2.4 percent in 2014 after increasing 2.2 percent in 2013.
The leading contributors to the acceleration in the fourth quarter were “passenger air transportation” and “recreation and entertainment.” “Passenger air transportation” turned up, increasing 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter after decreasing 4.5 percent in the third quarter. “Recreation and entertainment” also turned up, increasing 6.2 percent after decreasing 0.9 percent. Partially offsetting these upturns, “traveler accommodations” turned down, decreasing 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 8.3 percent.