The Year in Review: U.S. Tourism During 2016

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Rockville Public Library

By Mark Okrant
NH Travel Guru

Your NH Travel Guru is on vacation this week partaking in a celebration of turning
70. In lieu of my weekly column, we offer you the following overview of travel and
tourism during 2016. Full credit for this information goes to the U.S. Travel
Association, a vital lobbying and data gathering entity.

* U.S. domestic travel increased by 1.2 percent compared to 2015, to a total of
more than 2.2 billion person-trips during 2016. Leisure travel accounted for
79 percent of all domestic travel.

* International inbound travelers—Canadians, Mexicans, and overseas
residents—made an estimated 75.6 million visits to the US during 2016.

Mark Okrant, the NH Travel Guru

* Domestic and international visitors spent $990.3 billion in the U.S. This
spending supported more than 8.6 million jobs directly, and generated $248
billion in payroll income and $158 billion in federal, state, and local revenues.

* Total travel-related employment (direct, indirect, and induced) was 15.3
million during 2016.

* 84.5 percent of all visitor spending is by domestic travelers; however, the
average domestic traveler spent $380 (US), while the average international
visitor spent $2,033 (US).

* Owing to the strength of the U.S. dollar and the slowdown of many travel
partners’ economies, international traveler spending declined 2.1 percent
from 2015, and international passenger fares declined 6.1 percent.

* US resident travel spending abroad totaled $110.5 billion during 2016;
therefore, international traveler spending in the US represented a $43.2
billion dollar surplus.

* On average, every $1 million in sales of travel goods and services directly
generates nine tourism industry jobs; by contrast, every $1 million of sales in
non-farm industries creates six jobs.

* Between 2010 and 2016, the travel industry has created new jobs at a 16.6
percent rate . . . much faster than the rest of the economy (10.3 percent).

* Compared to 2015, spending by leisure travelers grew by 2.4 percent during
2016, while business traveler spending increased by 1.4 percent.

* Spending on food services accounted for 25 percent of all traveler

After forty years as an educator, researcher, and consultant, Mark Okrant joined to offer concise, informative insight into New Hampshire’s travel and tourism industry as a business, while showcasing the people and places you want to know. This guy’s really been around. And, he’s funny, too.
For more about Mark’s compelling tourism-based murder mystery series, visit

NH Travel Guru Mark Okrant leads a double life as a murder mystery novelist.


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