U.S. Travel and Tourism to Generate $2 Trillion this Year, Above 2019 Levels

Travel and tourism in the U.S. will outpace pre-pandemic levels this year, with the sector projected to generate $2 trillion, or 6% more than it did in 2019. That’s according to new economic modeling by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), working with Oxford Economics.

The London-based group—whose members include executives from over 200 companies including United Airlines, Japan Airlines, Expedia, Hilton, Royal Caribbean and others—said in a press release dated February 9 that this year’s recovery is dependent on two conditions: 1) steady vaccine rollout, and 2) the lifting of international travel restrictions.

If everything goes according to plan, travel and tourism could contribute $2 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2022, compared to $1.87 trillion in the year before the start of the pandemic.

On a global level, the industry is forecast to contribute $8.6 trillion in economic activity this year, according to the WTTC, which would be only 6.4% below the $9.2 trillion generated in 2019.