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   Issue 11/12, Winter 2007/Spring 2008

General Travel & Tourism

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Prior to industrialization people rarely traveled for pleasure, though religious pilgrims in Medieval times and wealthy English elite making their Grand Tours were obvious exceptions. With the advent of railroads and faster steam ships and increasing amounts of disposable income, people increasingly traveled for pleasure. In addition to travel for pleasure, the increasing ease of travel also saw the development of a market for travel for health reasons such as excursions to the spas in Bath as well as to various locations in the U.S.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel and tourism industry employs approximately 231 million people and generates over 10.4 per cent of world GDP.1

The U.S. saw growth in the industry with the opening of the West and the establishment of the U.S. Park Service in the 20th century. And after World War II, travel experienced even bigger growth because Americans had much more disposable income and many more families owned cars. In addition, air travel became more common; and there was an increase in the promotion of travel/tourism.

Historically, the UNWTO has indicated that international tourism receipts have gone from US$ 264 billion in 1990 to US$ 678 billion in 2005, with estimates for 2006 to reach US$ 735 billion.2 Figures from the World Tourism Organization offer a similar picture.3

BERA - Business & Economics Research Advisor - A Quarterly Guide to Business & Economics Topics

Issue 11/12: Winter 2007/Spring 2008

Guide to the Travel & Tourism Industry

Table of Contents

General Travel & Tourism
Travel Agents/Tour Operators
Types of Tourism

See America Poster showing two cowboys on horseback by stream near desert rock formation, ca 1936-1939.
Image (above):
See America Poster, ca. 1936-1939.
Poster for the United States Travel Bureau promoting tourism
Work Projects Administration Poster Collection
Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction Number: LC-USZC2-831
  • From 1950 to 2005, international tourism arrivals expanded at an annual rate of 6.5%, growing from 25 million to 806 million travelers.
  • The income generated by these arrivals grew at an even stronger rate reaching 11.2% during the same period, outgrowing the pace of the world economy, reaching around US$ 680 billion in 2005.
  • While in 1950 the top 15 destinations absorbed 88% of international arrivals, in 1970 the proportion was 75% and decreased to 57% in 2005, reflecting the emergence of new destinations, many of them in developing countries.
  • By 2020 international arrivals are expected to surpass 1.5 billion people.

Europe is still the biggest destination. For example, in 2006 Europe as a destination increased by $27 billion to reach US$ 378 billion. However, the desirability of Asia and the Pacific region as destinations also increased and earned US$ 153 billion which is up over US$ 19 billion from 2005. Africa and the Americas also did well, with Africa increasing to US$ 24 billion and the Americas increasing to US$ 153 billion.4

In terms of arrivals the top destinations for 2006 are France, then Spain and the U.S. followed by China, Italy, the UK, Germany, Austria, Mexico, and the Russian Federation to round out the top ten. These ten countries account for 51% of the total receipts. The U.S. is tops in receipts, however, because tourists tend to spend more and stay longer than in other destinations.5

Growth in the travel/tourism industry benefits from continuing world prosperity, increasing disposable income, and continued development of low cost airlines. For airlines, however, the price of gas can affect the industry on a continual short-term basis. The higher the cost of gas, the more negative the impact on travel. One-time events, such as the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and 9/11, impact travel/tourism to a specific area as well as general travel, as was clearly seen following 9/11, which had a substantial negative impact on the travel industry, especially the airline industry, which did not recover its international pre-9/11 fight volume until 2005.6 Ongoing turmoil in areas like the Middle East has an overall negative impact on tourism to that area specifically and can dampen travel in general for more wary travelers.

Tremendous growth can be seen in several areas. First, business travel has rebounded after the continued effects of 9/11. There are even airlines like Eos that cater predominately to the business traveler, offering perks that would appeal to those travelers. Second, luxury travel has seen big gains. The use of first class and business class on airlines has increased, and bookings for luxury hotels are up. Airlines like Singapore Airlines and Emirates have very luxurious accommodations and perks. Second, ecotourism and so-called adventure tourism are increasingly popular. Long term, destinations will become more exotic especially for the super wealthy who are toying with such exotic travel experiences as space and submarine travel (U.S. Submarines, Inc.).

According to the WTO's Tourism 2020 Vision forecasts: "East Asia and the Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are forecast to show record growth at rates of over 5 percent per year, compared to the world average of 4.1 per cent. The more mature regions of Europe and Americas are expected to show lower than average growth rates. Europe will maintain the highest share of world arrivals, although there will be a decline from 60 per cent in 1995 to 46 per cent in 2020."7 According to the same source, overall there will be an actual increase of travel, with one of the biggest influences being the inevitable influx of Baby Boomers and aging populations worldwide who have retired and take up travel as a leisure pursuit. Also, business travel in general is likely to increase, especially with growing numbers of business travelers from India and China.

Selected Print Resources

Annals of Tourism Research. New York [etc.] Pergamon [etc.], 1973 - present.
LC Call Number: G155.A1 A58
LC Catalog Record: 76649497

Began in 1973, this publication is a social sciences journal focusing upon the academic and theoretical perspectives of tourism.

Aron, Cindy S. Working at Play: A History of Vacations in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
LC Call Number: E161 .A75 1999
LC Catalog Record: 98025552
Table of Contents
Publisher's Description
Publisher-supplied Biographical Information

Biederman, Paul S. and Jun Lai ... [et al.] Travel and Tourism: An Industry Primer. Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson/Prentice Hall, c2008. 608 p.
LC Call Number: E161 .A75 1999
LC Catalog Record: 2007002661
Table of Contents

Includes history, milestones, economic impacts, specific sectors (airlines, rail, gaming, conventions, etc.). Also, includes discussion on travel agents.

Encyclopedia of American Industries. Detroit: Gale, 1994 - present. biennial.
LC Call Number: HC102 .E53 1994
LC Catalog Record: 2001223283
Online edition: Available online to subscribers through the Business and Company Resource Center database. Please note that patrons must be onsite at the Library of Congress to use this database.

Contains reports on relevant segments of the industry: hotels and motels; air transportation; passenger car rental; amusement parks; tour operators; travel agencies; etc. Information includes background, current conditions, industry leaders, further readings, etc.

Encyclopedia of Global Industries. Detroit: Gale, 1997 - present. biennial.
LC Call Number: HD2324 .E53
LC Catalog Record: 97661013
Online edition: Available online to subscribers through the Business and Company Resource Center database. Please note that patrons must be onsite at the Library of Congress to use this database.

The Entertainment and Recreation section has chapters on Amusement Parks, gaming and gambling, and hotels/lodging. Each chapter is a multi-page write-up with background and development, organization and structure, current conditions, industry leaders, and further readings.

FAA Aerospace Forecasts. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Aviation Policy and Plans, 1999 - present.
LC Call Number: HE9803.A1 O36a
LC Catalog Record: 2001234715
Online edition:

Contains information on U.S. and international air travel markets as well projections. Annual 10 year forecasts beginning with the forecast published in 2000 are available electronically on the FAA web page.

Holloway, J. Christopher. The Business of Tourism. Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson/Prentice Hall, c2008. 608 p.
LC Call Number: E161 .A75 1999
LC Catalog Record: 2001036038

International Journal of Tourism Research. Chichester, UK : Wiley & Sons, 1999 - present.
LC Call Number: G155.A1 I5165
LC Catalog Record: sn 98000556

Articles on research developments in the field of tourism.

Journal of Travel Research. The Travel Research Association. Boulder, Colo. : Business Research Division, College of Business and Administration, University of Colorado, 1972 - present.
LC Call Number: G155.A1 T6576
LC Catalog Record: 77647048

Begun in 1972, the journal focuses on travel and tourism behavior, management and development.

National Household Travel Survey. Ithaca, N.Y. : New Strategist Publications, c2004.
LC Call Number: HE203 .A765 2004
LC Catalog Record: 2004298877
Table of Contents

Plunkett's Airline, Hotel & Travel Industry Almanac. Houston, Tex. : Plunkett Research, c2002 - present.
LC Call Number: HE9803.A2 P58
LC Catalog Record: 2003252229
Contents (as described by publisher)

"Specialty Tourism," in Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries. Detroit. Gale, 2007.
LC Call Number: HD2324. E528
LC Catalog Record: 98660099

Includes a nine page overview covering SIC industry classifications 7011 and 4512. Includes the organization/structure of the industry in general as well as specific bits on adventure, sport, eco, nature, spiritual and affinity group travel. There is a useful background/development section as well as a small bibliography in the "further reading" section.

Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys. The Travel Research Association. Boulder, Colo. : Business Research Division, College of Business and Administration, University of Colorado, 1972 - present.
LC Call Number: G155.A1 T6576
LC Catalog Record: 77183941

See particularly, the Lodging & Gaming survey, which has an emphasis on hotels and casinos; and the Airlines survey. The surveys, which focus primarily on the U.S., are also available online from October 1998 to the present to patrons onsite at the Library of Congress in the subscription database, Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage.

The ... Travel and Tourism Market Research Handbook. Norcross, GA : Richard K. Miller & Associates, c2001.
LC Call Number: G155.U6 T73
LC Catalog Record: 2001203744

Travel Industry World Yearbook. [New York, NY : Child & Waters Inc., c1983 - present.
LC Call Number: G155.A1 B54
LC Catalog Record: 83647462
Contents (as described by publisher)

Includes: Travel Trends By Industry Sectors, United States Tourism Developments (and looks at the various states), International Travel (to and from the U.S.), World Travel Trends by Region, as well as Recommended Reference Sources. There is a special features section that goes over the history, any big trends, and some general arrival, expenditures, etc.

Vogel, Harold L. Travel Industry Economics: A Guide for Financial Analysis. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006.
LC Call Number: G155.A1 V64 2006
LC Catalog Record: 2006287808
Table of Contents

The economics of the travel industry, including topics and data related to hotels and casinos.

Selected Internet Resources

Tourism/travel information for specific geographical areas (state, regions, countries, etc) can be found though local government tourism agencies or associations. State agencies in the United States can be located through the following two sites:

Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)

ABTA publishes the "Travel Statistics and Trends," which pulls together a number of facts and statistics about the travel industry as it relates to the United Kingdom. In most cases the information has been drawn from ABTA's own surveys and in-house information. However, it also draws from other industry sources in a number of cases. The aim is not to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the entire industry but rather to look at a few focused areas. The organization also publishes information on Holiday Trends and other relevant data.

Caribbean Tourism Organization

CTO collects and disseminates research and data on the development of the regional industry and the distribution of this data. Their Information Center includes statistics and statistical publications, Travel & Tourism News, Reports & Guides, Newsroom, etc.

Part of the network, the site is aimed mainly at those interested in planning travel; it is, however, also good for obtaining data on "top destinations," trend watching, etc.

Leisure Tourism Database

Contains 75,000 research abstracts from the last 30 years of research, all relevant papers taken from over 6000 serial publications and thousands of other documents scanned each year by CABI Publishing, including all the core leisure and tourism journals. This is a subscription based service. Not available at the Library of Congress.

U.S. Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI) - International Trade Administration.

The OTTI serves as the Secretariat for the Tourism Policy Council, an interagency committee established by law for the purpose of ensuring that the nation's tourism interests are considered in Federal decision-making; it is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It had its genesis in the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism (WHCTT) convened in 1995. The OTTI collects and publishes international travel and tourism statistics and other marketing information, facilitates in the reduction of barriers to travel, and represents the United States international travel and tourism interests to foreign governments. The site provides basic and monthly statistics, including data on inbound/outbound travel to and from the U.S.), as well as tourism policy and development, and the National Tourism Strategy.


In addition to promoting tourism to Britain, the site offers numerous links to tourism research both inside and outside the U.K. Under the Insights and Market Intelligence link, there are links to quick facts and statistics, as well as to trends and forecasts, global intelligence reports, and market and trade profiles for countries around the world.

Travel and Tourism Research Association

Good source for current news and information on the travel and tourism industry with an international perspective. The "research articles" link provides access to downloadable articles on specific topics and specific geographical profiles.

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

Established in 1990, the WTTC is the forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry and seeks to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world's largest industries. Their research area includes: Special Country Reports (for example, China, Croatia, Greece, etc), General Reports (such as "Blueprint for New Tourism 2003," "Corporate Social Leadership in Travel and Tourism 2003,"), annual reports, position papers, and newsletters. WTTC sponsors and runs the Global Travel & Tourism Summit. The web site is in English and Chinese.

Sources for Statistics

Industry Economic Accounts. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

This site focuses on money, the gross domestic product (GDP), and the economics of travel/tourism covering the period from 1998 to the present. The BEA also posts various articles from its monthly publication, Survey of Current Business. Two examples of articles on travel and tourism:

Bureau of Transportation Statistics - U.S. Department of Transportation

Includes such data as number of trips and passengers, as well as data about transportation's effect on the economy, including a breakdown by state in the State Highlights section, which contains data on the origin, destination, volume, and characteristics of long-distance travel. The Data section of TransStats contains data in the Economic/Financial and the Social/Demographic categories by mode of transportation, including aviation, maritime, highway, transit, rail, and bike and pedestrian.

Conference Board - Canada

The Canadian Tourism Research Institute (CTRI) is within the Conference Board. The Institute produces the Travel Markets Outlook (TMO), Travel Indicators, etc. This is a subscription-based service. Not available at the Library of Congress.

European Marketing Data and Statistics. London : European Research Consultants. Annual. 1962 - present.
LC Call Number: HA1107 .E87
LC Catalog Record: 67118045

This work includes a chapter devoted to "Travel and Tourism" containing data on expenditures, length of stay, hotel occupancy, as well as data on tourist arrival by method and by region. Other related information can be found in the "Automotive and Transport" chapter, which has airline passenger traffic and other airline statistics and the "Consumer Expenditure" chapter, which has leisure and recreational statistics as well as statistics on hotels and catering. These statistics are arranged by country and cover those countries commonly considered to be in Europe.

Global E-travel Habits
Euromonitor, May 3, 2007.
(Not available at the Library of Congress)

Looks at the travel industry with a focus on the impact of online services and their relation to air travel in particular. Examines the trend towards taking more frequent trips that are shorter in length fueled by developments in on-line travel, which make it easier for consumers to book trips at short notice and at low prices, especially using low-cost carriers. Available for purchase from the publisher. The table of contents may be viewed without charge on the publisher's website.

International Marketing Data and Statistics. [London, Euromonitor Publications] Annual. 1975/76 - present.
LC Call Number: HA42 .I56
LC Catalog Record: 76647987

Like the title above, the work includes a chapter devoted to "Travel and Tourism," containing data on expenditures, length of stay, hotel occupancy, as well as data on tourist arrival by method and region. Other related information can be found in the "Automotive and Transport" chapter, which includes airline passenger traffic and other airline statistics and the "Consumer Expenditure" chapter, which has leisure and recreational statistics as well as statistics on hotels and catering. These statistics are arranged by country.

Office of National Statistics - United Kingdom

Publishes monthly and quarterly overseas travel and tourism releases as well as the "International Passenger Survey," which is a survey of a random sample of passengers entering and leaving the UK by air, sea or the Channel Tunnel along with a related publication, "Travel Trends." There are also specific reports for: Visitor expenditure in the UK and overseas; Holiday tourism; Overseas tourism; and Visits to UK by overseas residents.

U.S. Statistical Abstract. U.S. Bureau of the Census.

This source includes some industry sources that might prove useful such as:
  • Summary of Travel Trends
  • Travel in the United States by Selected Trip Characteristics
  • Top States and Cities Visited by Overseas Travelers
  • Impact of International Travel on States Economies
  • International Travel

World Tourism Organization (WTO)

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO/OMT) is a specialized agency of the United Nations and serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how. Under "Programmes" there is Tourism Satellite Account information from the Department of Statistics and Economic Measurement of Tourism as well as Market Trends, Sustainable Development, etc. Under "About UNWTO" there are links to the Publications of the organization, which includes the UNWTO Online Library and its Infoshop. Site is in English, French, Spanish, Russian. Here are two examples of print statistical publications issued by the WTO:
  • Annuaire des statistiques du tourisme = Yearbook of tourism statistics = Anuario de estadísticas del turismo. Madrid : Organisation mondiale du tourisme. Annual. c1986 - present.
    LC Call Number: G149 .I73
    LC Catalog Record: 88647862
  • Compendium of Tourism Statistics. World Tourism Organization. Annual. 1986 - present.
    LC Call Number: G155.A1 T5896
    LC Catalog Record: 87640320

Library of Congress Catalog Searches

Additional works on the travel and tourism industry in the Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Online Catalog under appropriate Library of Congress subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of Library of Congress subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search for the subject selected. Please be aware that during periods of heavy use you may encounter delays in accessing the catalog. Please see the individual sections of this guide for catalog searches relating to those topics. For assistance in locating the many other subject headings which relate to this subject, please consult a reference librarian.

Origin and destination traffic surveys--United States    Tourism
Tourism--Economic aspects    Tourism--Statistics--Periodicals
Tourism--United States    Transportation--United States--Statistics
Travel--United States    Travel agents
Travel costs    Travelers
United States--Description and travel    Vacations

 1. World Travel & Tourism Council

 2. UNWTO, World Tourism Barometer, vol. 4, no. 2, June 2007, p. 4     [PDF Format: 595 KB / 17 p.]

 3. "Tourism - an Economic and Social Phenomenon,"

 4. UNWTO, World Tourism Barometer, vol. 4, no. 2, June 2007, p. 5.     [PDF Format: 595 KB / 17 p.]

 5. UNWTO, World Tourism Barometer, vol. 4, no. 2, June 2007, p. 7.     [PDF Format: 595 KB / 17 p.]

 6. "Global Aviation Recovery Reaches Pre 9/11 Levels", OAG data. Official Airline Guide. Press Release. April 10, 2005.

 7. Tourism 2020 Vision

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