David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today’s Commerce Department announcement on international trade:
“For the travel industry, March was one for the record books. Monthly travel exports reached an all-time high of $13.7 billion, surpassing the prior peak of $13.4 billion reached in September 2011.
“After a slowdown in the last quarter, today’s Commerce Department report shows that travel exports rebounded sharply in the first quarter, rising at an annual rate of 20 percent compared to the fourth quarter of last year – twice as fast as the increase in overall goods exports during the same period. Moreover, during the 12 months ending in March, travel exports were up a very strong 12.6 percent, which is close to twice as fast as the 6.5 percent increase in overall goods exports during the past year.
“The fact that travel exports are growing more quickly than other exports is one of the key reasons why the travel industry has been creating jobs at a faster clip than the rest of the economy. For every 33 overseas visitors who travel to America, one U.S. job – a job that can’t be outsourced – is created. “The challenge now is to build on this recent success and begin to reclaim the share of global travel lost during the prior decade.”