The travel and tourism sector grew at an annualized rate of 6.8 percent in the first three months of 2013. In the same period, the U.S. economy grew at an annualized pace of 2.4 percent, according to a just-released report from the Bureau Of Economic Analysis.
Not only is the U.S. travel and tourism industry growing more than three times as fast as the rest of the economy, it’s doing so despite a slowing in growth in prices.
Passenger flights, which grew 19 percent in the first quarter of 2013, were the biggest contributor to the increased spending in the travel and tourism sector. Other transportation-related industries, like car rentals, also saw increased spending. However, growth in spending in restaurants, bars and hotels slowed down.
The travel and tourism industry is also hiring people at a much faster rate than other sectors of the U.S. economy. Employment in this sector grew 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013, 0.4 percentage points faster than the pace at which the rest of the U.S. economy added jobs -- 1.9 percent.
Here’s a deeper look at the U.S. travel and tourism industry, by the numbers: