Tourism Boom

July 21, 1978

Report Outline
Banner Year for U.S. Tourism
Evolution of Pleasure Travel
The Impact of Lower Air Fares
Special Focus

Banner Year for U.S. Tourism

High Expectations in Tourist Business

The tourist business is booming. Americans — and apparently many other nationalities — are on the move in greater numbers than ever before and are spending more money than ever before on pleasure travel. Tourist-related businesses nationwide are reporting record profits. Nowhere is the boom more evident than among U.S. airlines. Last year, scheduled — non-charter — airlines flew 240 million passengers 193 billion miles, according to the Air Transport Association, the trade organization.

Those two records are likely to be broken this year. In the first six months, air passenger traffic was running 14 percent ahead of the mid-1977 figure, thanks largely to a proliferation of discount fares. Automobile travel is slightly heavier this year, the American Automobile Association reports, and the Department of the Interior is expecting the national parks to draw 280 million visitors, well above last year's 262 million count.

The privately operated U.S. Travel Data Center in Washington, D.C., which measures the extent of the nation's travel activities, estimates that travel spending amounted to $156.7 billion in 1977, up from $115 billion in the tourist-minded 1976 bicentennial year. Public and automobile transportation combined to account for the biggest chunk ($65.2 billion) of the 1977 figure, followed by $15.2 billion on lodging, $57.7 billion on food and entertainment and $18.6 billion on incidentals.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Tourism and Vacation
Sep. 24, 2021  Travel and COVID-19
Nov. 09, 2018  Global Tourism Controversies
Oct. 20, 2006  Ecotourism
Jun. 17, 1988  America's ‘Vacation Gap’
May 04, 1984  Tourism's Economic Impact
Jul. 21, 1978  Tourism Boom
May 14, 1969  Summer Camps and Student Travel
May 18, 1966  Tourist Dollar Gap
Apr. 19, 1961  Two-Way Tourism
Jul. 20, 1955  Competition for Passenger Travel
Jul. 03, 1946  Travel Boom
Jun. 17, 1930  Foreign and Domestic Tourist Traffic
Travel and Tourism