Home > Economy, Financial > U.S. Tourism is Flourishing Despite the Global Economy

U.S. Tourism is Flourishing Despite the Global Economy

— Photo Courtesy of http://www.tropicalparadise.net

“People may not appreciate that when a foreigner comes and visits Hawaii that actually counts as a U.S. export,” Bernanke said before Congress on July 17 in response to a question from Senator Daniel Akaka, Democrat from Hawaii. “Tourism has been something of a bright spot. Not just in Hawaii, but in a number of places around the country.”

Spending by tourists is providing  13 ½ million jobs for  Americans at a time when the unemployment rate is stuck above 8 percent.  Spending by overseas visitors climbed 8.1 percent to  $13.9 billion.  U.S. Commerce Department show this includes all expenses from airfares to hotels over twelve months ending May.

July 18th’s Fed’s Beige Book survey of regional economies noted tourism was strong in several districts and that hotel rates and revenue per room was “robust” in New York, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco and the locations relying less on discount to bring in tourist were seeing more visitors  such as southern California and Hawaii.

Leisure and hospitality employees 13.59 million which currently accounts for 10.2 percent of all payrolls in the U.S. up from 9.8 percent before the recession according to Labor Department data.

Marriott International is up about 23 percent this year, the Walt Disney Co. has advanced 28 percent and Gaylord Entertainment Co., which operates the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, has jumped 49 percent out performing  the broader stock market Standard & Poor’s 500 Index  up only 7 percent.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said the city’s economy is “doing quite well” and has become less dependent on Wall Street. Tourism to New York has helped and has been “really quite a success story,” Dudley said in public remarks on May 30.

“Tourism has been an over-performer,” said Chris Lafakis, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “This is an industry that’s fully recovered from recession.”


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