Keeping Track: Travel spending

Vacationers drive up numbers

Americans spent nearly $500 billion on travel in 1998.

American recreational travel has climbed steadily in the past decade. But business travel has fluctuated considerably. Business travelers took 272.4 million "person trips" in 1998. That compares with 897.6 million trips for pleasure, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. The person-trip figure counts multiple people on the same trip individually.

Seventy-one percent of Americans traveled for pleasure in 1998. Such travel pumps billions into the travel and tourism industry, which employs nearly 7.7 million people.

Peripheral industries are raking in the benefits, notes the TIA. Commercial campground revenues grew by 9 percent in 1998 to $2.7 billion, bed-and-breakfast earnings jumped 7 percent to $2.4 billion, and amusement-park attendance grew from 253 million visitors in 1990 to 300 million in 1998.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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