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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Photograph of an airliner flying over a blue ocean.

Alfred P. Sloan Travel and Tourism Industry Center

“Life is a journey.” Writers have noted that it is humankind’s most enduring metaphor. The notion of travel is hard-wired into the human experience.

But the travel and tourism industry is exceedingly complex. Called the “industry of industries,” travel-related companies range in size from multinational corporations operating out of high-rise towers to individuals selling travel products and services from their homes.

Our job is to ensure that the human experience of travel is everything that it can be, for both the participants and for those companies who create the experience.

Economic Impact

As the number one industry of many countries of the world and the largest service sector export for the United States, the travel and tourism industry has significant local, national and global economic impact:

  • It is one of the few industries credited with producing positive balance of trade results for the U.S. economy.
  • One of the largest employers, the industry develops workers at all levels and areas of expertise. Last year alone the U.S. travel industry generated more than 7.4 million jobs with over $186.3 billion in payroll income for Americans.
  • Communities of all sizes benefit: the industry produces $100 billion in tax revenues for federal, state, and local governments.
  • International visitors generated tax revenues of more than $113 billion.
  • According to the United States Travel Association (USTA, 2010), each U.S. household would pay $950 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by travel and tourism. USTA also notes that direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $1.9 billion a day, $80 million an hour, $1.3 million a minute and $22,300 a second.



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