BY BRANDON SAWYER
Travel itself is an export, and U.S. international travel and passenger-fare exports accounted for a record $180.7 billion in 2013, a 9% increase over 2012 and a $57.1 billion trade surplus per the U.S. Commerce Department. In Oregon, Dean Runyan Associates estimates that travel and tourism generated $9.6 billion in economic impact and directly supported nearly 94,000 jobs last year. International travelers through Portland International Airport (PDX) grew 1.4% in 2013, returning to prerecession levels, and Travel Oregon estimates this group spent more than $485 million statewide in 2012. Besides passengers, the top air cargo exports at PDX are electronic components in terms of value and fresh fruit in terms of tonnage. Key to Oregon’s stake are two nonstop international flights at PDX, to Amsterdam and Narita, Japan. Combined, they were associated with $215.9 million in local business revenues, 2,822 jobs earning $87.6 million in wages, and $8.3 million in state and local taxes in 2011.