Moments ago I finished reading the executive summary of
the Travel Means Jobs report from U.S. Travel. The numbers are impressive. In
48 states travel is a top 10 employer. One out of every eight private sector
jobs in America is supported by travel. To me the most amazing stat is the
travel sector has been creating jobs at a pace that is 29% faster than the rest
of the economy since 2010.
That last fact so intrigues me that I have to ask, "why?" Here is where I stop quoting the U.S. Travel report and speak only for myself.
Part of the answer lies in the pent up demand for travel. People may have been
putting off major trips as well as weekend getaways because of the economy but
are unwilling to deny a vacation to themselves or their kids and grandkids any
longer. The other factor, in my opinion, why consumers are spending on travel
sooner and faster than they're spending on other sectors, is that people are
looking for value. I think that practically every transaction made while
traveling has clear value. Unlike routine bills that we all pay where there is no perceived
value at all (taxes) or ones where we feel we're paying too much for
what is received (utilities), in travel the value per dollar is not in
doubt. It's instant and it's tangible.
• When you stay at an inn like the one my friend runs in
Virginia, you get a lovely place to stay, genuine hospitality and a great
• When you buy an admission ticket to a theme park,
museum or other attraction, you immediately get to go through the turnstile where you get access to something that people on the outside don't get.
• When you work with an outdoors outfitter like a
canoe/kayak rental or a fishing guide, you get a unique experience in return for your
These travel purchases deliver
genuinely fun, meaningful, maybe even educational experiences that you receive immediately. You get
to take photos and have memories that linger forever. That's a value that no other purchase can match.