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Is Tourism America’s Hot New Growth Sector?


As we move deeper into the second quarter, the realities of summer and all the seasonal trends that go with it begin to come into focus. For many of us, warmer weather means vacation time. And even though the broader economy continues to grind along in low gear, don't be surprised to see higher prices and fewer vacancies when it comes to booking your next trip because the tourism business is heating up.

"It's really an amazing number," says Nick Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group, of the double-digit growth that vacation destinations like New York and San Francisco are experiencing. "Especially considering the still very sluggish economy and employment picture," he adds.

In fact, he says in New York alone, hotels are running at 85% capacity --a pace that he describes as "the level at which they have to start adding rooms." And they are. Colas says more than 36,000 rooms are "coming on line" in New York in the next couple years to accommodate the influx.

If you're wondering why this is happening, Colas explains in the attached video that there are a few good reasons.

"We're still seeing a lot of European inbound tourism," he says, adding that there's a lot more domestic tourism as well. "Americans are effectively staying home a little more and Europeans are coming over a little more, and the combination is driving a lot of volume."

It's also driving a lot of hiring.

Colas says the latest employment and hiring trend reports from the Labor Department show that the tourism, hospitality, hotel industries are "one of the key areas for incremental openings for jobs in this country."