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by Michael C. Lowe | June 10, 2011

 The travel industry is a “bright spot” in an otherwise stagnant export economy, according to a Commerce Department report. Though the overall trade balance for the United States improved by more than $3 billion to $43.7 billion in April, the increase was likely due to higher energy prices. However, travel exports, which include foreign visitor spending and passenger fares, demonstrated particular strength, with travel and passenger fare exports up 18.6 percent in April year-over-year. Travel accounted for two-thirds of overall service export growth in April from March and topped increases in other major export industries such as pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, and drilling and oil-field equipment.