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Travel: It’s not just for vacation anymore!

by Lux Joseph 9. May 2014


For most of us, “travel” invokes ideas boarding a plane or cruise ship, maybe loading a cooler, tent and the family dog into the back of the minivan. But lately, a picture has emerged of travel as a health regimen—for our bodies and minds, for our family relationships, even for our workplaces and our country’s economy.

Take, for instance, jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. travel industry recovered faster than other economic sectors, already restoring 111 percent of the jobs lost to the recession while the rest of the economy has only recovered 90 percent.

But unless you work for the airlines, a medical escort company like CME, or own a hotel, does the travel rebound mean much to the average American? The answer is a resounding yes.

Travel is among the top 10 employers in 49 states, directly employing about eight million people at a payroll of $209 billion. Throw in jobs supported by travel and the number almost doubles to 15 million workers: one of every nine American jobs.

U.S. residents and international visitors now pump more than $28,000 per second into cash registers across the country. It adds up to a $2.1 trillion economic impact, contributing more than $130 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.

At Commercial Medical Escorts, travel is a key component to our business as each of our transports is completed on a commercial flight. Our nurses and physicians travel by air to the patient’s location, we then transport the patient to their final destination, and then the medical escorts fly back to their home base. We utilize ground transportation, the airlines, trains, and hotels on a daily basis.

Every household in America would have to pay about $1,100 more in taxes annually to make up what the travel industry alone brings to our schools, roads, search-and-rescue teams and other public programs.

And lest we forget, travel is not all about leisure. Here are some facts on the economic engine that is business travel:

  • Travel boosts profits. One study found that every $1 spent on business travel drove nearly $3 in profit—a 300-percent return on investment (ROI) after adjusting for cost.
  • Travel weathers economic storms. Sectors that decreased business travel during the 2007-2011 recession were more likely to see profits slow or drop, while industries that amped up business travel grew faster.
  • Even Uncle Sam travels smart. Government meetings—where private-sector partners converge for information, contracts and networking—add $24 billion a year to our economy. They do so drawing on just 0.2 percent of budget expenditures and posting an impressive 34 percent ROI.

But travel doesn’t just grow our economy and boost our productivity; it also connects us as people, keeps us healthy and makes us happy.

Want a closer family?  More than 90 percent of kids see family vacations as a chance for “quality time” with their parents. Kids who travel are more likely to earn a college degree, and have a $5,000-higher median income as adults. At Commercial Medical Escorts, we are constantly assisting families come closer together as we move parents to facilities closer to their children. This is a typical request and a medical escort is definitely more cost effective than an air ambulance.

Feeling down? People who travel are less stressed and happier at work. Eight in 10 seniors say travel makes them feel energized. And our travel memories stay with us: studies show that into our 50s and beyond, we remember childhood trips more vividly than birthday parties or other special occasions.

This week is National Travel & Tourism Week, it is worth pondering how we can support this industry that supports so many great things in our lives. U.S. Travel Association shares the following ways in which you can support the travel industry including:

-Renew a federal program called Brand USA. Brand USA promotes the United States to international travelers, last year attracting an extra 1.1 million visitors to the U.S. and generating $7.4 billion in business sales at a 47-to-one return on investment. It does this good work through a private funding mechanism that does not cost the U.S. Treasury one red cent.

-Consider passing Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act. This bill would make it easier for low-risk international travelers to come to the U.S., in part by adding more countries to the very effective Visa Waiver Program. Including just 10 of the proposed countries will bring $7 billion more to our economy and support another 40,000 American jobs.

Hold time off in the esteem it deserves. Americans leave 429 million paid days off unused every year. At Commercial Medical Escorts, we encourage our medical escorts to take time off to spend with their family or friends. If an escort is delivering a patient to a destination they haven’t been before, CME lets them know they can adjust their schedule to spend some extra time and explore.

Take a few minutes this week to think about how you can support and encourage travel — perhaps as an employer, maybe as a leader in your community or even just for you and your family. It’s worth our investment, and the travel effect pays back in spades. At Commercial Medical Escorts we support the travel industry and without the travel industry we wouldn’t be here today. The travel industry allows CME to accomplish our mission and goal of bringing your loved one back home.


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