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Spotlight on Statistics

July 2010

Travel Spotlight on Statistics

Audio Script

Is it time for you to take a vacation? Whether taking a lengthy vacation or just a short pleasure trip, travelers may have a lot to consider when thinking about where they want to go and how they want to get there.

The travel industry depends on travelers to support its businesses, and travelers rely on the travel industry to provide them with services such as transportation, lodging, food and beverages, and entertainment.

Here are some BLS data associated with travel:

  • In 2008, U.S. households spent, on average, a total of $1,415 on transportation, lodging, food and beverage, entertainment, and gifts while on vacation and pleasure trips—representing 3 percent of total household expenditures.
  • In 2008, households in which the head of household is 55- to 64-years-old spent, on average, more on travel than did households in other age groups.
  • After showing steep declines in 2009, airline fares have started to increase and are now rising faster than consumer prices for all items.
  • In May 2010, the average price of unleaded regular gasoline in all cities within the United States was $2.87 per gallon.
  • Over each of the last eight decades since 1939, employment in the leisure and hospitality industry as a percentage of total private-sector employment has increased—from 7.1 percent in 1939 to 12.1 percent in 2009.
  • The leisure and hospitality industry experiences higher labor turnover rates than those experienced by the overall private sector.
  • Over the 2008-18 period, occupations such as hotel, motel and resort desk clerks, tour guides and escorts, and flight attendants are all projected to increase in employment.

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