Ca, Fl, Ny Rank Among Top States In Spending By Travelers
California ranked number one overall in terms of total spending by domestic and international travelers, earning nearly $72 billion in expenditures. Rounding out the top three were Florida ($56.3 billion) and New York ($35.4 billion).
The data is excerpted from the latest edition of the Impact of Travel and Tourism on the U.S. and State Economies, published by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The rankings are based on 2003 datathe most recent year for which equally comparable data is available for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“This is evidence of what an economic powerhouse the travel and tourism industry continues to be in the U.S., despite the challenges faced by the industry the past few years,” remarked Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer of the Travel Industry Association of America. “These data show that travel is extremely valuable in each and every state in the nationno matter the size of that state or whether it had millions or thousands of visitors.”
The rankings change slightly when looking at expenditures made solely by domestic or international travelers in the United States. The top three states where domestic travelers spent their money were California ($61.1 billion), Florida ($42.9 billion) and Texas ($31.5 billion).
International travelers spent the most money in Florida ($13.4 billion), followed by California ($10.5 billion) and New York ($7.7 billion).
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 in 2003 were California (818,700 jobs); Florida (734,600 jobs); Texas (518,500 jobs); New York (378,500 jobs); and Nevada (342,700 jobs).
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 150,500 jobs were directly attributable to the dollars spent by domestic and international travelers.
Overall, the travel and tourism industry ranks as the first-, second-, or third-largest employer in 29 of the 50 states.
“Without a strong travel and tourism industry, we will not have a strong economy,” said David Hirschmann, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “While we’re encouraged that the industry appears to be making progress, it has a long way to go to restore its financial health. Necessary airport security procedures still take too long, legitimate foreign visitors face unacceptable visa delays, and our outdated air traffic control system is generating needless travel backups. All of these issues discourage travel and tourism and have a negative impact on the overall economy.”