Hospitality and tourism are big business. In addition to helping attract visitors to some of the region’s best assets, these industries are a driving force of the economy and have tremendous impact on communities across the globe — and close to home.
According to research from Select USA, the U.S. travel and tourism industry generated more than $1.5 trillion in economic output in 2016, supporting 7.6 million U.S. jobs. Travel and tourism exports accounted for 11 percent of all U.S. exports and a third (33 percent) of all U.S. services exports, positioning travel and tourism as the nation’s largest services export. One out of every 18 Americans is employed, either directly or indirectly, in a travel or tourism related industry. In 2016, U.S. travel and tourism output represented 2.7 percent of gross domestic product.
While the majority of activity in the industry is domestic, expenditures by international visitors in the United States totaled $244.7 billion in 2016, yielding an $83.9 billion trade surplus for the year. According to U.S. Department of Commerce projections, international travel to the United States should grow by 3 percent annually through 2021. The United States leads the world in international travel and tourism exports and ranks second in terms of total visitation.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, tourism is one of Pennsylvania’s key industries, generating more than $40 billion annually from visitor spending and supporting nearly half a million jobs, primarily in the hospitality sector. Each year, the Commonwealth hosts almost 200 million travelers from across the United States, nearly 2 million visitors from Canada, and 1 million from overseas markets. Almost 14 million travelers visit the state’s national park sites, including northwest Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle State Park, and their spending contributes significantly to the state’s economy each year.
Tax revenues generated at both the state and local level from tourism fund vital services including public safety, education, and other essential programs that benefit all Pennsylvanians. Tourism also provides a wide range of employment opportunities across numerous industries and all skill levels — from entry-level clerks to chief executives and from industrial to scientific.
Here, in our June edition of the Business Magazine, we’ll take a look at the many businesses and organizations that are helping to draw visitors to our region. But first, we’ll go behind the scenes and talk to representatives from AG Aegis Company, Inc. in Corry, Pennsylvania on how they’ve been helping many of these employers achieve their environmental, health and safety goals for 30 years.
We’ll also hear from Nick Scott of Scott Enterprises on how he’s been able to put Erie on the map as a travel destination through his more than 50 years of hospitality experience, as well as his many hotels, restaurants and resorts. Plus, don’t miss our guest column on the important role that food safety and handler training can play in your operation’s success and overall customer experience.
The Manufacturer & Business Association is proud to support member companies of all industries, including those in the hospitality and tourism sectors, in delivering a world-class customer service experience. To learn more about our many offerings, take a look at our newly redesigned Training Catalog in this issue or visit www.mbausa.org to learn more!