Real spending on travel and tourism-related recreation and entertainment grew 3.7 percent in the first quarter in marked improvement over a year earlier, when such spending fell 2.8 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce reported.
The government’s quarterly snapshot showed real spending on travel and tourism increased at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the first quarter on top of a 4.4 percent (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2011. By comparison, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.9 percent (second estimate) in the first quarter after increasing 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter.
The increase in real spending on tourism primarily reflected increases in traveler accommodations and in food services and drinking places. Real spending on passenger air transportation decelerated, increasing 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after increasing 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.