Currently in the United States, travel and tourism is the nation's largest services export industry, the third largest retail sales industry and one of America's largest employers. In fact, it is the second or third largest employer in 30 states. In traveling, consumers commonly engage 15 interrelated businesses, from lodging establishments, airlines and restaurants to cruise lines, car rental firms, travel agents and tour operators. This section highlights some common issues travelers face and their rights and responsibilities in resolving them.

This influence is broad. Resident and international travelers in the United States average $1.4 billion a day in expenditures. In fact, tourism generates $525 billion in sales (excluding spending by international travelers on U.S. airlines). This delivers $96 billion in federal, state and local taxes annually.

In any lucrative business you can expect to find both great deals and not so great deals. There is some information you should keep in mind to help make your travel safe and enjoyable.