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US travel, tourism expected to contribute $2.6b to economy by 2032

THE World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed new data that showed the travel and tourism industries in the United States are expected to contribute over $2.6 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) to the economy over the next decade.

The WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) indicates U.S. travel and tourism is expected to generate 9.2 percent of the entire economy based on an average annual growth rate of 3.9 percent, nearly double the anticipated two percent growth rate of the economy overall.

Data also shows jobs in the U.S. travel and tourism industries could grow at an average rate of 3.9 percent between 2022 and 2032, representing a 47 percent increase from this year’s expected job levels.

The long-term recovery of the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector looks positive, bringing more than six million new jobs to the U.S. economy over the next 10 years,” WTTC President Julia Simpson said. “But the landscape is highly competitive, and the U.S. is losing out on international visitors.”

The WTTC projects that travel and tourism’s 2022 GDP contribution will grow by more than 42 compared to 2021, reaching more than $1.8 billion by the end of this year and accounting for 7.6 percent of the entire U.S. economy.

While domestic travel is thriving, international visitor spending was not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025, showcasing the urgency of lifting coronavirus-related testing restrictions for travelers arriving from other countries.

International visitor spending was $40.3 billion in 2021, down from 2019’s total of $190.9 billion.

“Full recovery of Travel & Tourism relies on a significant rebound of international travel,” Simpson continued. “While the new National Travel and Tourism Strategy is a step in the right direction, 2021 was another difficult year for U.S. economy and the millions of livelihoods who rely on it.”

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new strategy aimed at boosting the international tourism industry following the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commerce Department revealed the official National Travel and Tourism Strategy, which set goals to welcome 90 million international visitors by 2027 and achieve an estimated $279 billion in annual spending.

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