The United States is the second top destination for travelers. The first is France, but it benefits from being located in the heart of Europe and from the fact that it is home to one of the most famous landmarks in the world as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Not too many people put a thought on traveling. But did you know that travel helps the economy? Visiting another place is no longer just for personal reasons, but you also help the locals by bringing them business and helping them save tax. What are the five facts about traveling that you should know in order to appreciate it better?
1. It is big business
Travel in the United States generated $2.1 trillion in direct spending by local and international travelers. Add to that figure the $141.5 billion in direct taxes and you could see just how travel and tourism contribute to the economy. The travel sector generates 15 million jobs, more than half of which are directly related to the industry. So it is not just hotel and hospitality workers, airport and airline employees, bus rental companies and resort and convention center operators who benefit from your traveling, but also the local businesses. Think about the museums where you need to pay to get in, the shop where you buy your souvenir shirts from, or the restaurants you dine in.
Much of the spending is from leisure travelers. That sector generates around $645.0 billion in direct spending and close to $97.0 billion in taxes. Business travel on the other hand contributes around $283.0 billion in direct spending and another $50.0 billion in taxes. That said, travel saves the average American household close to $1,150 in taxes.
2. Canadians and Mexicans are the most frequent visitors
In 2014, the United States welcomed 75 million people from all over the world into its shores. Of that number, 40.1 million are from neighboring Mexico and Canada, while 34.9 million came from other countries. That is a big deal, considering that each international traveler spends an average of $4,400 and typically stays for 18 days.
3. International travelers love spending time in the U.S.
Overseas visitors come to the United States to shop, see the sights, dine at fine restaurants, visit amusement and theme parks, as well as national parks and monuments. These are the top activities that most people are interested in. But they are certainly not the only ones that are being offered. Every major city in the United States keeps visitor interests alive with museums, events, sporting and recreational opportunities, and the chance to get outdoors and get fit.
4. More tourists are expected
The number of overseas travelers to the USA is expected to grow further in the coming years with more visitors coming from Mexico, China, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Canada. Forecasts show that more than 90 million tourists will visit the USA in 2020, so if you want to get an edge in the future learn Spanish or Mandarin!
5. Travelers are usually older
You might picture the adventurous traveler as someone who is young, perhaps fresh out of college or taking a sabbatical year to see the country. But you would be surprised to know that, the average leisure traveler is about 48 years old. Business travelers are not much younger, with the average age of business travelers pegged at 46 years old. Where are the younger ones? It seems that they are saving up in order to be able to travel when they are older.
The next time you get itchy feet and a deep sense of wanderlust, do not hold back. Pack your bags, invite your friends and hop on a plane or a bus! See the beauty of the United States, have fun with your friends, discover new places and taste something new in terms of food. Taking trips will leave you rich with culture and experience while also helping the local economy! What is the point of waiting? Don’t wait, travel now!