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by Michael J. Shapiro | November 02, 2012

The number of domestic trips taken by Americans in 2012 will be an all-time high, according to the U.S. Travel 2013 Forecast, released today. Travelers in the U.S. are projected to take 203.52 billion trips this year, exceeding last year's total by 1.8 percent and topping 200 billion for the first time. More than 77 percent of those trips will have been for leisure purposes, according to David Huether, senior vice president of research and economics at U.S. Travel. The association predicts that number will increase again in 2013, but at a slower rate of growth; the 205.82 billion trips projection represents a growth rate of 1.1 percent. The forecast calls for 46.45 billion business trips to occur next year, again representing 23 percent of the total trips. Total travel spending, both from domestic travel and international arrivals, is forecast to rise by 4.7 percent this year, to $852 billion; in 2013 that number is expected to increase by 3.6 percent, to $882 billion. The news is good, overall. "The travel industry has been outperforming the general economy so far during this recovery," said Huether in a press call. "That's most evident in the jobs numbers that we've seen over the last couple of years. Since the end of 2009, the travel industry has added 283,000 jobs and has made up close to 57 percent of the jobs that were lost during the downturn."