Travel and tourism are critical drivers of the American economy, generating $2.5 trillion in economic output and supporting one in 10 American jobs. Maintaining and growing this segment requires increasing the flow of international visitors to the U.S. while recognizing the value of government, business and leisure travel here at home.

Globally, more people are traveling, but the U.S. share of international travelers has declined since 2015, costing an estimated 120,000 new jobs and an additional $59 billion in spending by international visitors. The U.S. can facilitate and encourage international visitors while keeping a strong commitment to security. We support a welcoming message to the world and policies that strike an appropriate balance between security and travel.

Congress recognized the importance of international visitors to the U.S. when it reauthorized Brand USA, a public-private partnership that promotes America as a travel destination for international visitors. Brand USA continues to be an unqualified success, welcoming international travelers, generating jobs and enhancing America’s image abroad—at zero expense to American taxpayers. 


AHLA Position

AHLA supports policies that promote travel to and within the U.S. while continuing to ensure safety and security is a top priority. The Visa Waiver Program is an example of a vital program that includes enhanced security measures while making travel to the U.S. efficient and accessible as possible.

Key Stats

  • 1 in 9 American jobs depend on travel and tourism.
  • Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. average $2.6 billion a day, $108.1 million an hour, $1.8 million a minute and $30,033 a second.
  • $2.3 trillion: Economic output generated by domestic and international visitors (includes $990.3 billion in direct travel expenditures that spurred an additional $1.3 trillion in other industries).
  • 15.3 million: Jobs supported by travel expenditures (includes 8.6 million directly in the travel industry and 6.7 million in other industries).
  • $248.2 billion: Wages shared by American workers directly employed by travel.
  • $157.8 billion: Tax revenue generated by travel spending for federal, state and local governments.
  • 75.6 million: Projected number of international arrivals in the U.S. in 2016, including 37.6 million from overseas markets.
  • Hotel operations and guest spending report 8 million jobs, including 4.5 direct jobs.
  • Hotels support $355 billion in total labor income.
  • Hotels generate nearly $170 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
  • There are 54,200+ properties, over 5 million guest rooms and 1.1 billion+ guest nights annually in the United States hotel industry.
  • The industry has added 188,000+ new jobs in five years.
  • Hotel revenue has increased to $245 billion in 2015, and real consumer spending on lodging has increased by 230% over the past three decades.
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Issue Updates

The United States receives a larger share of international tourism receipts than any other country in the world.

Talking Points

Members only resource offering high level bullet points on the key issues affecting our industry today.

Members Only

Take Action

Make your voice heard! Here you will have the exclusive access to innovative tools that will allow you to take immediate action on important legislative initiatives through concise emails delivered instantly to your Representatives urging their support of lodging-friendly positions.

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REAL ID Toolkit

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will officially begin enforcing the REAL ID Act of 2005 at airports. Use the resources in the downloadable PDF toolkit files below to prepare for REAL ID implementation:

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