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TOURISM IS THE QUIET HERO OF TRADE

TOURISM IS THE QUIET HERO OF TRADE

International travelers drop big bucks in the United States

International travelers check in to their accommodations, they ride local transportation, they sightsee, they eat, and they shop. All that wonderful cross-border spending counts as an export in international trade.

Although the United States doesn’t hold the top spot in global tourism (France was most visited in 2018), its popularity still drives some 80 million visitors each year who spend more here than in any other country. In 2018, tourism brought in $256.1 billion in international travel receipts, driving 2.8 percent of U.S. GDP and supporting 7.8 million jobs in the United States.

The top five spenders on visits to the United States were China ($34.6 billion in U.S. travel spending), Canada ($27.2 billion), Mexico ($20.9 billion), followed by Japan and the United Kingdom.

Travel delivers 10% US exports

1.4 billion people are on the move

For the United States, tourism is a really important component of our trade portfolio, accounting for 31 percent of total services exports and 10 percent of all U.S. exports.

We are not alone. Globally, tourism is growing faster than global economic growth overall and is the third-largest sector in international trade. Some 1.4 billion people are on the move in the world as travel continues to grow year on year.

Is the U.S. losing global tourism market share?

Global travel exports were worth $1.7 trillion in 2018. The United States captured 15.7 percent of the total. But even as global travel is expanding, U.S. tourism growth is showing signs of slowing. France, the United Kingdom and Italy are traditional rivals, but the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand and China are also garnering significant market share.

Aside from spending, another measure of competitiveness is the number of international visits annually. Total visits to the United States remained strong due to travel within North America, but the United States’ share of long-haul visits dropped from 13.7 percent in 2015 to 11.7 percent in 2018. Notably, visitors from Japan, South Korea, and China all fell in 2018.

While visits to the United States between 2015 and 2017 rose just 0.5 percent, the United Arab Emirates saw 20.1 percent growth, Canada experienced 19 percent growth, Australia 21.5 percent, India 24 percent, Thailand 14.1 percent and China 13.6 percent.

Travel is #2 export

Tourism and travel is so important to the economies of many countries that the OECD is working to develop a set of indicators to measure the competitiveness of destinations – how they optimize accessibility and attractiveness, deliver quality services, and gain market share while promoting efficient and sustainable use of tourism resources.

Road warriors are helping to grow trade

The tourism and travel sector isn’t strictly about the visitors who come to stroll through Istanbul’s bustling Grand Bazaar, New York’s Central Park or Beijing’s Forbidden City.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says business travel has a notable impact on wider trade flows. The road warriors who hop the long-haul flights to land a sale, keep existing customers, develop business partnerships, and enter into research and development deals generate travel revenue but also generate incremental trade over subsequent years through their business dealings, which in turn spur more business travel.

WTTC cites analysis by Oxford Economics estimating that business travel supported around a quarter of the growth in international trade within the Asia-Pacific region in the heady decade between 2003 and 2013.

travel global exports

Trade in global goodwill

Brand USA will not grow out of style anytime soon. The United States will remain a top destination for tourists and business travelers alike. The National Trade and Tourism Office projects annual international visits to the United States for personal and business reasons will grow to 95.5 million by 2023.

For the United States and the global economy, tourism and travel are the unsung heroes of the international trade story and not only for the billions in goods and services travelers buy directly and support indirectly. When we think about all the many forms of voluntary exchange, tourism and travel are at the top of the list for those that promote trade in international understanding and global goodwill.

 

 

Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fourteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

YOTEL Plans Major International Expansion

New York, NY – YOTEL has announced global expansion plans targeting key city centers and international airports in Asia, Europe and North America.

More than 3,000 cabins are scheduled to open by 2018, including YOTEL hotels in Singapore, Paris, Miami, San Francisco and a second property in New York City.

Initially conceived for busy international travelers at airport terminals, YOTEL’s concept proved highly successful in urban centers with the opening in 2011 of the 669-room YOTEL Times Square developed by the Related Companies, one of New York City’s most prolific developers.

Designed around the customer, YOTEL cabins deliver affordable luxury without the clutter through small but smart spaces, providing everything for a guest to relax, refresh, sleep and connect.

Typically located in easily accessible, fast upcoming neighborhoods, YOTEL hotels offer a sense of community as well as space for work and social gatherings, and provide an ever-improving guest experience.

In addition to New York, Miami and San Francisco, YOTEL is in advanced negotiations to operate new properties in Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Toronto. Outside North America, the company is actively pursuing opportunities in Europe and Asia Pacific, in particular Dubai, London, Milan, Barcelona, Sydney and Hong Kong.

YOTEL’s next 3 locations to open in the U.S. are in Miami, Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood. New York-based real estate developer Synapse Capital is developing a 100,000 square foot mixed-use project along with 110 YOTEL cabins in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Together with IFA Hotels & Resorts and its partners, Synapse is also transforming the Grant Building at 1095 Market Street in San Francisco into a 200-cabin YOTEL hotel. YOTEL Miami is a 250-cabin hotel being developed by Aria Development Group in partnership with AQARAT (Kuwait Real Estate Company) in the heart of Downtown Miami.

In Europe, YOTEL is developing its fourth airport hotel at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, which is due to open in mid-2016. The following year, YOTEL will open its first property in Asia with the launch of YOTEL Singapore on ultra-prime Orchard Road.

Developed by Singapore-listed Hong Fok Corporation Limited, YOTEL Singapore will feature 600 state-of-the-art cabins located at the heart of the city-state’s busiest commercial strip and steps away from all major tourist attractions.

12/23/2014

New Interjet Service Links Houston and Monterrey, Mexico

Houston, TX – Interjet has officially began flight operations linking George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas with Monterrey International Airport in Monterrey, Mexico.

The airline will now offer passengers a choice between two daily flights Monday through Friday and one daily flight on Saturdays and Sundays.

Depending upon demand, the airline will feature service aboard its 150-seat A-320 and its 93-seat Superjet 100 aircraft, with passengers departing from Terminal D at the airport’s Mickey Leland International Terminal.

Interjet’s daily service will include service twice a day Monday through Friday, and once a day on Saturday and Sunday.

The arrival of Interjet is the latest example of an unprecedented level of growth for international air travel in Houston.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is currently on pace to see more than 10 million international passengers in 2014, a number never  reached in the facility’s 45 year history.

10/23/2014

Gansevoort Plans New Hotel in Dominican Republic

New York, New York – The Gansevoort Hotel Group will officially open its doors December 15, 2014 to its latest oceanfront resort – the Gansevoort Playa Imbert – on the Dominican Republic’s north coast.

The new Gansevoort Playa Imbert will feature 48 suites comprised of one and two-bedroom lofts; three-bedroom apartments with private plunge pools and spacious terraces; and a collection of four-bedroom penthouses, each of which offers a private rooftop Jacuzzi.

Floor-to-ceiling windows “seamlessly blend the outdoors with the indoors offering dramatic seascapes from every guestroom, while modern interiors provide understated opulence with standard amenities like state-of-the art kitchens, walk-in showers, custom bathtubs and natural stone finishes,” the company said.

At the resort’s center is a dramatic, 3-tiered cascading infinity pool overlooking Playa Imbert’s crescent-shaped beach. A second, adults-only pool will open spring 2015.

Other planned amenities include a fitness center, a world-class day spa featuring a ‘Hammam-style’ sauna, and a meditation and yoga garden.

Gansevoort Playa Imbert is located just 15 minutes from Puerto Plata Airport and a short drive from renowned surfing, kiteboarding, golf, tennis, horseback riding and more.

Further luxury accommodation will become available in this area of the Dominican Republic’s north coast region when Aman Playa Grande opens in 2015.

10/20/2014

Norwegian Air Denied Temporary US Service Application

Washington, DC – The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has rejected a ‘procedural application’ from discount air carrier Norwegian Air International (NAI) to temporarily operate in the US.

The decision is seen as a victory for US air carriers and their unions, which had vocally opposed the application, but the DOT said that while the temporary bid had been rejected, the agency would continue to “review the extensive record and deliberate on the application for longer-term operating authority.”

According to aviation industry analysts, the final determination by DOT probably won’t be announced until after the November mid-term elections.

Norwegian Air’s campaign to enter the US market became a magnet for opposition, not only from domestic US air carriers and their employee unions, but from a broad coalition of lawmakers from both parties on Capitol Hill.

More than 40 senators and 100 House members signed letters expressing their “concerns” about the deal with the House recently passing an amendment to the 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill in an effort to derail the airline’s efforts.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which has labeled NAI as “the wolf at the door,” praised the DOT’s decision, saying that, “The US Department of Transportation took an important stand for fair competition today by denying Norwegian Air International’s request for temporary authorization to fly to and from the United States.”

NAI – which is certified in Ireland and hires its pilots from Singapore – has said that the opposition to its application is protectionism, driven by the major airlines who control more than three-quarters of the highly profitable transatlantic market.

On the company’s existing US routes operated under a separate company called Norwegian Long Haul, tickets are, according to several sources, often more than $100 cheaper than the closest competitors’ fares.

NAI said in a statement it still expected to win final approval from DOT, but it was disappointed with the ruling.

“While we think it is unfortunate that DOT feels the need to further delay issuance of our permit, which has been pending now for over six months, Norwegian Air International stands behind its business — from its pilots and cabin crew to its affordable fare model to its desire to bring competition to the transatlantic market — and looks forward to receiving approval to operate without further delay,” said NAI CEO Asgeir Nyseth.

09/05/2014

Air China’s New DC-Beijing Service Unveiled

Washington, DC – Dulles International Airport is celebrating the launch of Air China’s new service linking Washington, DC and Beijing.

State-owned Air China plans service four times a week between the two cities with new-generation Boeing 777-300ER featuring three-class cabins: first class (Forbidden Pavilion), business (Capital Pavilion) and economy class.

First class cabins feature luxury suites; business class cabins boast 180-degree flatbed seats, while all cabins have individual TV screens with audio-video-on-demand (AVOD).

Air China’s new nonstop service (CA 818) departs from Washington Dulles International to Beijing at 5:00 pm local time on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

It arrives in Beijing the next day at 6:40 pm local time. CA 817 departs Beijing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 12:45 pm local time and arrives at IAD on the same day at 2:35 pm local time. Beijing is 13 hours ahead of Washington, DC.

Washington Dulles International is Air China’s seventh gateway in North America. Other hubs are Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Houston, Honolulu, and Vancouver.

Air China is currently the world’s largest airline by market capitalization, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The carrier operates a fleet of 461 Boeing and Airbus aircraft operating on 284 global routes thoughout Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Europe, South and North America from its main hub at Beijing’s Capital International Airport.

06/20/2014