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Travel Taking Off Despite Economy: A CBS This Morning Report

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With questionable job numbers and rising gas prices, it’s easy to write off travel and other leisure activities these days. But the numbers say otherwise.

Earlier today, Peter joined the team at CBS This Morning to report on Virtuoso’s Travel Week.  This is one of the largest, most prestigious gatherings of the travel industry, taking place every August in Las Vegas. This is a serious B2B event where CEOS, ministers of tourism, ambassadors and some of the biggest travel agents in the world gather to do some pretty serious business.

By the end of the week, 4,000 hotel, airline and tourism CEOs will have had more than 300,000 meetings resulting in $500 million in travel sales.

International tourism to the U.S. is key for economic improvement. In fact on a week-long trip to the U.S., the average Chinese tourist will spend more than $6,500, far more than a domestic tourist. With those travelers do come jobs. So far 283,000 jobs have been created by the travel industry, far outpacing other industries.

And when they say “luxury,” they mean it. We’re talking private islands in the South Pacific, villas in Europe, private jet and yacht trips, and let’s not forget outer space…lots of people are spending $200k apiece to be first on their block to go on Virgin Galactic’s suborbital space rides.

And that’s not the only promising statistic. According to Visa, the first half of 2012 indicates an overall improvement for travel to and from the U.S. In fact,  U.S. card holders added $17 billion to the international tourism economy, a 7 percent increase over 2011. And international travelers  spent 9 percent more on U.S. travel, rising from $18.4 billion in 2011 to $20.1 billion in 2012.

Watch Peter’s full report to see the complete 2012 tourism economic forecast and how you can benefit:

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