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Published on : Mar 14, 2014

In a recent economic report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), it was revealed that the U.S. travel and tourism industry has witnessed record break revenue of $180.7 billion in 2013. This is a figure more by almost 9 percent than what were the industry’s revenues in the year 2012.  

However, according to the president and CEO of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) David Scowsill, The industry still needs to add to its efforts in enabling international visitors to gain visas easily for short business related and leisure trips.  

According to WTTC, travel and tourism is U.S’ strongest “service expert”, contributing around 28 percent of all service exports of the country and around 9 percent of the total exports of the country. 

The contribution of travel and tourism to the country’s revenue has increased by 2.6 percent in the past year and is expected to increase an additional 3.5 percent this year. 

But it is important for U.S to take effective measures to maintain its competitive edge. The U.S travel industry saw major reforms in the year 2000 to averse any risks from letting people in the country. This affected the tourism industry very adversely at that time and for some more years that followed. The picture is now slowly changing with efforts at making visas processing less complicated, eliminating interviews, doubling visa processing capability for China and Brazil and increasing the efficiency of visa processing for 28 countries through the last few years.  

Visa facilitation is now allowing more people to travel to the U.S, benefitting the country’s economy and adding more jobs for its resource pool. 

The report has also emphasized the need for the U.S to promote its travel and tourism industry to the rising customer base from developing economies such as India, China and Indonesia. The competition to attract this customer-base is already very strong and this situation demands the U.S to take measures to improve its marketing and promotional strategies.  

There is one more important point for the industry to learn from this report-the gruesome amount of federal taxes paid by U.S travelers. Interestingly, this amount is also greater than the taxes required to be paid for alcohol and tobacco products, which are typically margined at high taxes to discourage their use. If the U.S government takes measures to lower-down the burden of federal taxes on the travel and tourism industry of the country, the travelers would also be required to pay fewer taxes. 

Air travelers are required to pay for an amount near to $61-an amount near to 20 percent of a typical $300 domestic round-trip airfare to U.S. 

The U.S could easily benefit a lot more if it takes a close look and takes reformatory measures in its current taxation policies.