Travel Matters to Jobs.

Travel’s Role in Achieving the American Dream

For millions of Americans, a career in the travel industry is not just a first job, but the first step toward the American dream of a stable, prosperous and rewarding life with a competitive salary for employees and their families. Travel jobs are accessible, often providing the first foothold on the career ladder, the flexibility to pursue education or raise a family and opportunities to reenter the workforce.

Made in America: Travel’s Contribution to Workforce Development and Career Advancement explores how travel industry jobs provide opportunities and a path to prosperity for millions of Americans.

Travel jobs are a gateway to capturing the American dream.

The travel industry provides Americans a foothold toward financial success. For millions of Americans, employment in the travel industry is not just a first job; it leads to a future of financial security and economic prosperity.

  • Americans whose first job was in travel went on to earn a maximum average salary of $82,400 by the time they were 50 years old—higher than workers whose first jobs were in manufacturing, health care and most other industries.1
  • Not only that, the travel industry is one of the top 10 largest employers of middle-class wage earners* in the U.S.

Travel jobs provide and cultivate essential skills for a successful career

First jobs provide Americans with essential skills, confidence and experience that lead to rewarding careers. Employment in the travel industry develops practical skills such as communication, customer service and problem solving through on-the-job training.
  • Nearly four in 10 (38%) Americans’ first job was in travel and tourism. This fact spans across gender, race and ethnicity.

Experience in travel fosters entrepreneurship and grows small business

Entrepreneurship is a key driver of prosperity and competitiveness in the U.S.

  •  The skills gained through travel industry employment inspire entrepreneurship, particularly for women. Of women who started their career in the travel industry, 14% now consider themselves an entrepreneur; the same percentage are business owners.4


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