Travel: What’s it Really Worth?

What’s it worth? Plenty. Aside from facilitating business transactions and transporting families to favorite vacation destinations, it’s a major boon to the economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 2009 total output for travel and tourism had a value of nearly $700 billion. And the number of people traveling has been on the rise since that time.  

Where the Dollars Go:


Expenditure (In Millions)



 Traveler Accommodations  $130,915
 Food services and drinking places  $111,706
 Nondurable PCE commodities other than gasoline 1  $  95,615
 Domestic passenger air transportation services  $  67,210
 Gasoline  $  51,217
 International passenger air transportation services  $  45,404
 Gambling  $  41,365
 Travel arrangement and reservation services  $  34,733
 All other recreation and entertainment  $  16,608
 Other  $104,325
 TOTAL  $699,098

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

1. PCE:  Personal Consumption Expenditures





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