According to data excerpted from the Travel Industry Association of America‘s Tourism Works for America, 12th Annual Edition 2003, California ranked number one in terms of spending by domestic travelers, earning nearly $60 billion in expenditures. Rounding out the top three were Florida ($40.1 billion) and Texas ($31.2 billion). These rankings are based on 2001 data—the most current year for which equally comparable data is available for all 50 states.
The rankings change slightly when looking at expenditures made by international travelers in the United States. International travelers spent the most money in Florida ($15.6 billion), followed by California ($12.0 billion) and New York ($8.4 billion).
“These data underscore the powerful economic effect travel and tourism has on each and every state in the nation—no matter the size of that state or whether it had millions or thousands of visitors,” remarked William S. Norman, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association of America.
Each state also feels the impact of traveler spending through the subsequent creation of thousands of jobs. The top five states in terms of travel-generated employment, based on domestic traveler spending, were California (701,300 jobs); Florida (540,500 jobs); Texas (491,400 jobs); Nevada (312,900 jobs); and New York (299,600 jobs). Rankings are based on 2001 data, again, the latest available.
In a state where tourism is the number one industry, such as Florida, job creation can be tremendous. However, tourism does not have to be a state’s largest industry for the impact to be felt. In the state of Michigan, where tourism is the sixth-largest industry, more than 148,000 jobs were directly attributable to the dollars spent by domestic travelers. Overall, the travel and tourism industry ranks as the first-, second-, or third-largest employer in 29 of the 50 states.
Data for the Tourism Works for America, 12th Annual Edition 2003 were collected and analyzed from more than 100 industry and government sources in order to provide reliable, concise and accurate data about the economic, social and cultural impact of the travel and tourism industry.