Educational travel blog
August 30, 2017
by Kathleen Mueller
Pictured: Passports employees at our exhibit booth during an educator's convention.
When I read the U.S. Travel Association's report on the travel industry and its role in job creation (released on August 28th), I smiled. Pure and simple. Travel is the place to be, and the tourism industry is responsible for employing millions of Americans in an industry that continues to grow and thrive, even in today's tough times where nationwide employment numbers are at an all-time historic low.
As a woman employed in the travel industry, I was encouraged to learn that women who began their careers in the tourism industry in the U.S. achieved higher salaries than their counterparts in other industries later on in their careers -- whether or not they remained in the tourism industry. The same applies to minorities who began their careers in travel-related fields. Furthermore, in 2016, the leisure and hospitality industry allowed more workers to be employed part-time while pursuing an education than any other industry! Wow!
Back in the 1980s, when I started in student travel, I was going to college full-time, and I worked full-time as a computer operator in the late evening hours. It was an incredible opportunity, and I ended up staying put. I worked my way up the ladder from that entry-level position to where I am today -- now corporate officer of one of the oldest family-owned, American-owned student group tour companies in existence today (50+ years and still counting!). While I preferred to work behind the scenes in a somewhat un-glamorous admin position throughout my illustrious 32-year career, using my skills in accounting, data processing and all things computer, I found it interesting to learn that many young people today have travel perks and benefits as part of their travel industry jobs. Nearly one quarter of all Americans can say their first job was in a travel or travel-and-tourism related job. While the travel industry was not my first job, it was my most meaningful, and this is where I decided to stay.
I admit, I'm a geek, and really enjoyed reading all the stats in the report. For instance, did you know that travel is the second-largest export behind transportation equipment? True! And since transportation equipment is actually used in travel (think airplanes, buses, trains...) it just goes even further. The connections and networks are immense.
The tourism industry, more broadly defined as leisure and hospitality, is the main small-business employer in the country. Travel and its related hospitality offshoots is a job creator in America, as evidenced by the sheer numbers of people who work in hotels, national parks, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, airlines, airports, and group tour operators like Passports, and more, and more! Not only that, there are also over 8 million other types of jobs in America that are supported by travel in some way, shape or form.
International travel, the kind we specialize in ("The French Class Goes to Paris") is considered a United States export, and is responsible for over 240-billion dollars worth of travel exports. Inside of that number, approximately 41 billion is attributable to education-related travel. And here I sit at this family-owned company in Massachusetts, just one small cog of a humongous wheel. The vastness of this realization is a personal source of pride and accomplishment, but is humbling at the same time.
You can find U.S. Travel Association's report here, and there 's a whole toolkit of resources to download from their site to learn more.
Knowing that travel is a huge job creator has all of us at Passports Educational Travel happy to be a part of America's future! We are Made in America.
passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.
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