U.S. lost $606 billion in tourism after 9/11
America missed out on 78 million inbound travelers and $606 billion because of Sept. 11, according to economic data provided by the U.S. Travel Association. In a discussion with the media, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the USTA, addressed the impact of the terrorist attacks on travel during the last decade and offered principles to help strengthen security and eliminate barriers that are discouraging travel to and within the United States.
The lost revenue and travelers, which were based on the assumed pace of growth of global long-haul international travel in the decade after 9/11, would have supported 467,000 additional U.S. jobs annually.
The principles outlined by Dow fall under three categories: reducing traveler wait times, improving customer service, and replacing a one-size-fits-all approach with a risk-based approach.
“The decade following 9/11 has seen significant changes in the way Americans, and those who visit America, travel,” said Dow. “We must continue keeping travelers safe with the highest level of security, but we must incorporate principles that improve facilitation and encourage travel.”
Dow also shared that U.S. market share of the global travel market dropped from 17 percent in 2000 to 12.4 percent in 2010 during a time in which global long-haul travel grew 40 percent. Business travel total volume declined 21 percent (as a result of both 9/11 and the meetings crisis in the late 2000s), but returned to growth mode in 2010, increasing nearly 4 percent, and growth is expected through 2014. Leisure travel volume increased 17 percent since 2000, despite a few years of negative growth, and slow but steady growth is expected through 2014.