By James Wilkinson at IPW in Las Vegas
Travel’s trade surplus in April improved to USD$4.2 billion, saving the United States’ current trade deficit just under 11%.
The news, a major talking point of this week’s International Pow Wow (IPW) in Las Vegas, comes as the travel sector continues to boom in the United States, with 13,300 new jobs added in the sector in the month of April alone.
Trade deficit increased by USD$3.2 billion in April to USD$40.3 billion, as the “USD$2.2 billion rise in total exports was offset by a greater USD$5.4 billion surge in imports from March” according a the U.S Commerce Department report released last week (Jun 4).
Commenting on the report, the U.S. Travel Association’s Senior Vice President of Research and Economics, David Huether, said without the travel surplus, things could have been much worse for the U.S. economy.
“On a positive note in an otherwise disappointing report, travel exports bucked the trend in April, growing by USD$23 million to USD$14.5 billion,” he said.
“As a result, the travel industry’s trade surplus improved in April to USD$4.2 billion. This improves the 2013 year-to-date travel surplus to USD$17.5 billion. Without this trade surplus, the current trade deficit would be 10.6% larger.
“The travel industry continues to outperform other industries in terms of export growth. While overall U.S. exports have slowed significantly this year, travel exports continue to increase at a healthy pace. Through the first four months of this year, travel exports are up 7.9% compared to the first four months of 2012, which is more than five-times faster than the 1.5% increase in other U.S. exports so far this year. As a result, the travel industry has generated close to a third (30%) of the overall increase in U.S. exports so far this year compared to the same period last year.
“[The] release shows clearly that welcoming international travellers to our country continues to be a shot of adrenaline to our economy.
“The ongoing increases in travel exports is one of the main reasons why the travel industry has created jobs at a 15% faster rate than the rest of the economy since early 2010.
“This is also why policymakers should support legislation that would increase international travel spending in the United States and lower the unemployment rate by creating American jobs through the rising travel industry,” he said.
IPW is being held in Las Vegas until Thursday local time (June 13) and next year Chicago will play host to the largest travel and tourism event in America from April 5-9, 2014.
HM travelled to Las Vegas on Qantas, which offers daily flights to the city from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney via Los Angeles in partnership with American Airlines. Qantas has recently upgraded the Boeing 747s that fly on the Australia-Los Angeles route, which feature the new A380-inspired interiors including new, larger economy class seats in a cabin that’s highlighted by an extensive range of entertainment on demand alongside a great selection of Australian wine and meals designed by star chef Neil Perry. For bookings, visit www.qantas.com