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Blog Category: Travel

International Statistical Update: Health- and Education-Related Travel Now Part of Travel Services

Cross-post, Bureau of Economic Analysis

You may have noticed some data on international travel services look a little bit different. With the release of the monthly trade report on June 4, spending on health- and education-related travel are now counted in the travel services category. Previously, both were included in a category called “other personal services.”

Expenditures on goods and services by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers, which were also previously included in other private services, are reclassified to travel as well.

While this change alone will not affect the overall trade balance, the category measuring travel services – both imports and exports – will be larger. However, BEA will also report quarterly on health- and education-related travel separately from other more traditional business and personal travel so that users can track travel spending in several ways. You can see the new travel services category as well as the subcategories in a new table that will be available on June 18. A template is available now.

This change is part of the Comprehensive Restructuring of BEA’s International Economic Accounts, which we discussed in a recent blog post.

An example of health-related travel is when a foreign person travels to the United States for surgery. In this case, health-related travel exports would include the cost of medical procedures the person receives, in addition to any accommodations and other expenses he or she incurs in the United States.

An example of education-related travel is when a foreign person travels to the U.S. to attend school here. In this case, education-related travel exports would include all costs the foreign student incurs in the United States, including tuition at a U.S. institution. Like other changes to BEA’s international accounts, moving health- and education-related travel to the travel services category brings the U.S. international accounts into closer harmony with data produced by our trading partners and was a recommendation of the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, 6th edition.

National Travel and Tourism Strategy Sets Goal to Draw 100 million International Visitors to U.S.

One of America's many beautiful National Parks

Guest blog post by Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

As we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, the U.S. government is doubling down on its commitment to create more jobs for Americans by growing international and domestic travel and tourism that powers our economy.

Last year, 62 million international tourists visited the United States and pumped a record $153 billion into local economies, helping to support the 7.6 million jobs in our travel and tourism industry. These numbers make tourism America’s number one service export.

That’s why the White House released a new National Travel and Tourism Strategy today, charting a new course toward making America a more attractive and accessible destination than ever before. The Strategy sets a goal of drawing 100 million international visitors by 2021, which is expected to generate $250 billion annually in visitor spending by 2012. The strategy also encourages more Americans to travel within the United States.

America is the land of extraordinary natural wonders – from the Grand Canyon to the Florida Keys; from Yellowstone to Yosemite. America is where we do big things, and as a result, we have incredible landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building; the Hoover Dam and the Gateway Arch. This is the land of iconic cities and all their sights – from Independence Hall in Philadelphia to the Space Needle in Seattle to the skyline of Chicago. From the Mall of America to Walt Disney World, we have it all right here.

At President Obama’s direction in January, we co-chaired an interagency task force to develop the strategy – identifying concrete steps in five key areas designed to promote these destinations and make America as number one tourism destination in the world:

Secretary Locke Highlights Importance of Tourism to U.S. Economy

Secretary Locke meets with press in Orlando to discuss travel and tourism.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke held a town hall meeting at the University of Central Florida today to discuss the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the U.S. economy. The industry generates nearly $1.3 trillion for the U.S. economy and supports 8.2 million U.S. jobs. Locke also highlighted President Obama’s new Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development, a $40 million effort to facilitate economic development along the Space Coast. Locke was joined by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Reps. Suzanne Kosmas and Alan Grayson. (More) (Remarks)

Rick Wade to Kick Off National Main Street Business Tour in Michigan

Wade on podium. Click for larger image.

Rick Wade, Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, will travel to Battle Creek and Jackson, Michigan to kick off a national tour that will take him to Main Streets across the country to meet with business leaders and hear directly from them about the challenges they face in this economy, taking their concerns and ideas back to Washington. Wade will meet one-on-one with business leaders, talk to larger groups at chambers of commerce and tour local plants and manufacturing centers during tour stops. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Discusses Travel and Tourism Industry at American Hotel and Lodging Association Summit

Locke on podium.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed the American Hotel and Lodging Association Legislative Action Summit to discuss the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the U.S. economy. Locke spoke about President Obama’s National Export Initiative and the role travel and tourism plays in growing American jobs. He also discussed plans for implementation of the recently-signed Travel Promotion Act, which establishes a new public-private partnership between the U.S. government and the nation’s travel and tourism industry. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke to Travel to Brazil to Meet with Key Leaders to Strengthen Bilateral, Commercial Relationship

Secretary Locke with Forum participants. Click for larger image.

Photo: American embassy in Brazil

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Brasilia, Brazil, to meet with key Brazilian leaders, American companies, and public and private sector co-chairs of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. During his meetings with American business leaders, Locke will discuss the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative and how it will help those businesses become more competitive abroad while supporting job creation here at home. (March 8 release) (March 9 release)

President Obama Signs the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 into Law

Secretary Locke at far left watches as President Obama signs Act. Click for larger image.

White House photo

President Obama signed the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (TPA) into law, putting into place a new public-private partnership between the U.S. government and the nation’s travel and tourism industry. The U.S. Department of Commerce stands ready to work with the private sector to promote international travel to the United States. “When international visitors come to the United States they spend money on a wide range of goods and services that support U.S. jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. “Creating a global tourism promotion program to encourage international visitors to vacation in America will help spur economic growth and create more jobs,” Locke said. (More)

Secretary Locke Announces Travel and Tourism Advisory Board

Locke gesturing from podium.

File photo

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced his decision to appoint the new members of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (Board). The board’s new charter expanded membership to include a more diverse and expansive industry representation from private sector participants in the travel and tourism industry. The appointees represent a broad cross-section of the industry including transportation services, financial services, and hotels and restaurants, as well as a mix of small and large firms from across the country. (More) (TTAB Web site) (Member list)

Secretary Locke to Travel to Copenhagen to Discuss Administration's Commitment to Spur Clean Energy Technology, Reinvigorate the Economy

U.S. COP-15 logo. Click to go to State Department Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Copenhagen on Friday to discuss the Obama administration’s commitment to meet clean energy and climate change challenges and the promise clean energy development holds for spurring innovation, reinvigorating the economy and creating jobs. Secretary Locke has been a leading voice in the administration promoting innovation and investment in the clean energy economy. (More) (Commerce COP-15 Web site) (U.S. Center Web site)

Commerce Secretary Locke Statement on U.S. Tourism and the Emergency Declaration for H1N1 Flu

Department of Commerce seal.

“The October 23 declaration was a precautionary measure to ensure that, if needed, medical treatment facilities in the U.S. will have the tools they need to deal with 2009 H1N1 influenza as efficiently as possible. Without the proper context, I know the declaration may have been a cause for concern among some abroad who had been planning travel to the U.S. But let me be very clear: The measure does not represent any change in status of the H1N1 influenza in our country. It was instead an important procedural tactic to help the government and U.S. medical facilities better handle the illness in the future.” (More)

Secretary Locke to Highlight Trade, Intellectual Property Rights and Energy During China Trip

Portrait of Secretary Locke.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Guangzhou and Hangzhou, China, October 26-30, to co-chair the 20th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) and to stress the importance of strong intellectual property rights protection and enforcement around the world. The JCCT, established in 1983, is the main forum for addressing bilateral trade matters and promoting commercial opportunities between the United States and China. Secretary Locke will co-chair the annual high-level JCCT meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan in Hangzhou on October 28-29. (More) (Oct. 21 release) (Fact Sheet)

Locke to Lead U.S. Delegation to Chile for the Americas Competitiveness Forum

ACF logo. Click to visit ACF Web site)

U.S.Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Santiago, Chile, September 27-29, to participate in the third Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF). The ACF brings together representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss ways to spark innovation, create jobs and expand trade among the countries of the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. Department of Commerce hosted the first two ACFs in Atlanta in 2007 and 2008. Secretary Locke will be joined by the Presidents of Chile and Guatemala, as well as ministers of trade and economy from throughout the region and senior representatives from business and academia. (More) (ACF Web site)

Secretary Locke Hosts U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, Receives Recommendations to Promote Economy

Secretary Locke seated at table with Board  participants. Click for larger image.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke participated in a U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) meeting to discuss recommendations key to growing the economy and boosting tourism. The travel and tourism industry, which accounts for 2.6 percent of U.S. GDP, has been adversely impacted by the economic downturn. Locke asked the TTAB for its views regarding issues facing the travel and tourism industry. The Board was established in 2003 and consists of up to 15 private-sector industry leaders who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. (TTAB Web site)

Secretaries Locke and Chu to Travel to China, Focus on Clean Energy Jobs, Business and Technology

Secretaries Locke and Chu at White House press conference.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Energy Secretary Steven Chu will travel to China on Tuesday, July 14. During their four-day visit, the two secretaries will highlight the tremendous potential for mutually beneficial relationships in the clean energy sector. “Today, we are more interdependent with China than at any point in the last 30 years,” Locke said. “The relationship between our two countries is of critical importance, and while great progress has been made in our cooperation on economic, trade and global terrorism fronts, there's much more to do.”

Secretary Locke to Accompany President Obama to Russia

File photo portrait of Secretary Locke.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Moscow, July 6-8, in conjunction with the Presidential Summit Meeting between Presidents Obama and Medvedev. Locke will represent the administration at a private sector Business Summit where U.S. and Russian business leaders will present recommendations to expand bilateral commercial cooperation. This will be Locke’s first overseas trip as Secretary of Commerce. While in Moscow, he will meet with the Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina to discuss U.S.-Russian economic and commercial relations and Russia’s integration into the global economy. (More)

Secretary Locke Hosts Meeting of U.S. Travel and Tourism Board

Secretary Locke (center) with participants. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted his first meeting with the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB). Board members presented their recommendations regarding airport congestion, travel facilitation and the economic sustainability of the travel and tourism industry. “At Commerce, we’re working closely on tourism development with trade associations, destinations, and industry leaders,” Locke said. “We are tracking the industry because of its importance to the U.S. economy and understand the stress it is currently experiencing. I look forward to working with the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board to restore growth to this important sector.” (More)

Secretary Locke Statement on National Travel and Tourism Week

Photo of Gary Locke.

File Photo

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke released the following statement on the observance of National Travel and Tourism Week: “Last year, a record 58 million travelers visited the United States to conduct business, see family and friends, and experience our big cities, small towns and incredible natural wonders. As we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, we are reminded that the industry benefits every state and U.S. territory, employing more than eight million workers across the country.” (More)

NOAA Team to Train Fishery Observers in Senegal

Photo depicting NOAA workshop in Ghana to train fishery observers. Click here for larger image.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists will travel to the west African nation of Senegal this week to train government officials and university students to be marine resource observers on fishing boats. The observers will collect scientific information about the health of fish stocks and the amount of incidental bycatch of marine mammals and other protected species. This information is used to manage fish stocks and protect marine resources domestically and internationally, through organizations such as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. (More)