U.S. travel exports rebounded in September, reaching a six-month high of $13.9 billion, according to the U.S. Travel Association, which yesterday released its analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce's latest export data. Travel exports, it pointed out, grew faster than travel imports, resulting in a $3.9 billion travel trade surplus for September — the highest surplus in twelve months.For a recap of the week's top stories, check out MeetingNews Minute:
"The growth in travel exports continues to outpace those in all other sectors, increasing 7.8 percent year-to-date, a remarkable 67 percent faster than the 4.6 percent rise in other exports of goods and services," said U.S. Travel Association Senior Vice President of Research and Economics David Huether. "As a result, travel exports now account for 12 percent of total U.S. export growth so far this year, nearly twice the percentage at this same time last year."
Huether said the positive export numbers are further proof that Congress should pass the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, which would codify a two-week visa processing standard for visitors to the United States, as well as expansion of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
"The positive economic impact of international travelers visiting the United States is one of the key reasons why policymakers should support policies that would increase visitation, such as the JOLT Act," Huether continued. "An increase in travel exports results in a corresponding increase in quality middle-class jobs for Americans. It's one of the best ways to help shorten unemployment lines across the country."