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Destination Capitol Hill: 2.5 Trillion Reasons to Advocate for Travel

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 17, 2019

By Tori Barnes, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at U.S. Travel Association.

New data from the U.S. Travel Association shows travel’s essential contributions to the American economy and workforce.

Travel is a powerful engine for a roaring economy. Travel is a driving force in reducing the trade deficit. Travel is millions of good jobs in every corner of America.

This is an industry essential to the American economy and workforce, and it is why we advocate for its continued growth. Destination Capitol Hill (DCH), the industry’s premier fly-in advocacy event, brings together travel leaders from across the country to meet directly with policymakers. DCH ensures that our industry’s collective voice is heard, and that our elected representatives have a solid understanding of travel’s contributions to the American economy, as well as issues facing our industry.

Travel is trade, commerce and jobs 
U.S. Travel’s latest economic impact numbers show that traveler spending in 2018 generated $2.5 trillion in total economic output, supported 15.7 million American workers and reduced America’s overall trade deficit, with $256 billion in U.S. travel exports creating a $69 billion travel trade surplus.

Travel jobs exist in practically every pocket of the country, driving economies from Maine to Maui. Between 2010 and 2017, all 50 states and the District of Columbia saw their travel employment increase, and 43 states and D.C. saw travel employment increase faster than the rest of their state’s economy.

U.S. Travel’s advocacy efforts focus on policies that will further grow this essential industry, and in turn, the American economy:

Brand USA’s long-term reauthorization

  • A comprehensive infrastructure package
  • A legislative fix for the $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog in our national parks
  • Renaming the Visa Waiver Program as the Secure Travel Partnership program and expanding it to additional allied nations

This is an industry with a tremendous impact and boundless potential. Simply put, travel matters to America—and it should matter to our elected officials.


To learn more about the travel industry, please see U.S. Travel’s industry Answer Sheet, as well as our Travel and Trade and Travel Creates Jobs fact sheets. 

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