Spending on travel and tourism dips
March 15, 2017
• Turned down in Fourth Quarter 2016 compared to Q3
• Last year as a whole saw a slowdown from 2015
Real spending on travel and tourism turned down in the fourth quarter of 2016, decreasing at an annual rate of 3.3 percent after increasing 3.7 percent in the third quarter, according to new statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Wednesday.
In contrast, real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 3.5 percent in the third.
For the year, travel and tourism grew 2.3 percent, a deceleration from the 4.7 percent growth in 2015.
The leading contributors to the fourth-quarter downturn in travel and tourism were the categories dubbed “Passenger air transportation” and “Traveler accommodations.”
“Passenger air transportation” decreased 15.1 percent after increasing 2.0 percent in the previous quarter. “Traveler accommodations” decreased 5.9 percent after increasing 8.3 percent in the third quarter.
Prices for travel and tourism goods and services accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2016, increasing 9.1 percent following an increase of less than 0.01 percent in the third quarter the BEA says.
The acceleration was attributable to the upturn in price growth for “All other transportation-related commodities,” which increased 16.2 percent in the fourth quarter after declining 2.4 percent in the third.
Prices for “Passenger air transportation” also contributed to the acceleration, says the BEA, increasing 17.8 percent in the fourth after increasing 0.2 percent previously. For 2016, prices for travel and tourism goods and services grew 1.5, an upturn from a 3.1 percent decline in 2015.
Employment in the travel and tourism industries decelerated in the fourth quarter, increasing 0.7 percent after increasing 1.6 percent in the third quarter. “Traveler accommodations" was the most significant contributor to the deceleration, subtracting 2,300 jobs in the fourth quarter, the BEA report says.
“Food services and drinking places” was the second largest contributor to the deceleration, adding 8,700 jobs in the fourth quarter, after adding 11,400 jobs in the third.
Total tourism-related output was $1.7 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2016. It consisted of $955.2 billion (58 percent) of direct tourism spending and $705.4 billion (42 percent) of indirect tourism-related spending.
Total tourism-related employment was 7.7 million jobs in the fourth quarter of 2016, and consisted of 5.4 million (70 percent) direct tourism jobs and 2.3 million (30 percent) indirect tourism-related jobs.