U.S. Travel and Tourism Satellite Account for 2018–2022

The travel and tourism industry—as measured by the real output of goods and services sold directly to visitors—increased 21.0 percent in 2022 after increasing 53.6 percent in 2021, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).1 By comparison, the broader economy, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), increased 1.9 percent in 2022 after increasing 5.8 percent in 2021.

BEA released new national-level travel and tourism statistics for 2022, with updated statistics from 2017 to 2021. These new and revised statistics primarily reflect the incorporation of source data from the 2023 comprehensive update of BEA’s National Economic Accounts.2 Combined with new and revised tourism-specific source data, these improvements allow BEA's Travel and Tourism Satellite Account (TTSA) to capture the dynamics of this sector more accurately. In addition, the reference year for the chained-dollar estimates is updated to 2017 from 2012.

Highlights from the TTSA include the following:

  • As the industry continued to recover from the COVID–19 pandemic, travel and tourism's share of GDP increased from 2.76 percent in 2021 to 2.97 percent in 2022 (table A).
  • The travel and tourism industry's real output increased $197.1 billion in 2022 but has not fully recovered from the pandemic. Travel and tourism's real output for 2022 was 94.2 percent of its 2019 level (table B).
    • In 2022, real output increased for 22 of 24 commodities. The largest contributors to the increase were domestic passenger air transportation services, international passenger air transportation services, and gasoline.
  • Prices for travel and tourism goods and services increased 12.2 percent in 2022 after increasing 6.9 percent in 2021. The largest contributors to the increase were domestic passenger air transportation services, gasoline, and shopping (table C).
  • The TTSA is available on the BEA website; see the box “Data Availability.”

The remainder of this article includes a discussion of trends in travel and tourism output, prices, value added, and employment.

Value added

A sector's value added measures its share of GDP. The travel and tourism industry's share of GDP was 2.97 percent in 2022, 2.76 percent in 2021, and 2.15 in 2020 (table A). This pattern indicates that travel and tourism industries contracted and expanded disproportionately to non-travel and tourism industries during the COVID–19 pandemic and that travel and tourism industries are still slightly below pre-COVID–19 levels.

Direct employment

Direct tourism employment refers to jobs that are directly related to visitor spending on goods and services. Airline pilots, hotel clerks, and travel agents are examples of such employees. Overall, direct employment increased by 1.0 million jobs in 2022 after increasing by 1.3 million jobs in 2021. This was after decreasing by 2.9 million jobs in 2020. The largest contributors to the 2022 increase were traveler accommodations, which gained 244,000 jobs; food services and drinking places, which gained 213,000 jobs; and shopping, which gained 176,000 jobs (chart 4 and table D).

Total employment

Total tourism-related employment (the sum of direct and indirect jobs) increased to 9.4 million jobs in 2022 from 8.9 million jobs in 2021. The 9.4 million jobs consisted of 6.6 million direct tourism jobs and 2.8 million indirect tourism jobs (chart 5). While direct tourism employment includes jobs that produce direct tourism output, such as airline pilots, indirect tourism employment is generated by the businesses that supply goods and services to the tourism sector, such as refinery workers producing jet fuel. Data for 2022 indicate that for every 100 jobs supported directly by the travel and tourism industry, an additional 42 indirect tourism jobs are also required.


  1. All measures of travel and tourism activity not identified as being in “real,” inflation-adjusted terms are current-dollar, or nominal, estimates.
  2. For more, information see “Improved Estimates of the National Economic Accounts: Results of the 2023 Comprehensive Update,” Survey of Current Business (November 2023).