Travel Puts Americans to Work

Travel Puts Americans to Work


In Central Florida, tourism supports 1 in 3 jobs and generates $64 billion in annual economic impact. Now, a new study by the U.S. Travel Association shows just how important the industry is to the country's labor force as a whole.

According to "Travel: America's Unsung Hero of Job Creation," Americans whose first job was in a travel-related industry obtained an average career salary of $81,900, significantly higher than those starting in most other U.S. industries. Even better, 40% now earn more than $100,000 a year.

Here are three other key takeaways:

1) 52% of travel jobs - which include those in transportation, hotels, restaurants, entertainment and related fields - pay middle-class wages or higher.

2) The travel industry offers a statistically better career starting point for Americans with less education. Workers with a high school degree or less whose first jobs were in travel reached an average career salary of $69,500, 5% greater than the average salary attained by workers who started in other industries.

3) The leisure and hospitality sector, which is heavily dependent on travel, is the No. 1 small business employer in the U.S. From 2010 to 2016, travel jobs increased by 17%, compared to 13% job growth in the rest of the private sector.

Facts such as these provide much-needed context that, unfortunately, is not often recognized. The truth is, our industry offers a valuable service not only to our guests, but also to our hard-working employees and our economy.



Verbaas Elected Board Chairman at Xenia


Congratulations to Marcel Verbaas, a member of Visit Orlando's executive committee, for being elected chairman of the board of Xenia Hotels & Resorts. Verbaas has served as Xenia's president and CEO since its formation in 2007; in his new capacity, he will retain the title of CEO. Read the full release here.


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