In January, 33,500 jobs related to the U.S. travel industry were created, and making up 11 percent of the overall 304,000-job increase in nonfarm employment in January, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

MORE THAN 33,000 jobs were generated in the U.S. by the travel industry in January, according to the U.S. Travel Association. That is the largest monthly gain since February 2016.

Travel-related jobs made up 11 percent of the overall 304,000-job increase in nonfarm employment in January, according to USTA. The new jobs were primarily in leisure and hospitality including the amusements/gambling/recreation industry, food services/drinking places industry, and the lodging industry. Employment in the airline industry continued to grow as well.

In September the travel industry lost 6,800 jobs but has been gaining jobs since then.

Experts at the 40th annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in June were upbeat about the industry’s future. Representatives from STR and CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research were predicting growth despite concerns that international travel was bound to decline, and the optimism was reflected in a speech by Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels & Co.

“Forty years ago, travel was a luxury,” said Tisch, a third-generation hotelier. “Today, travel is democratized and 3.7 billion people will travel this year.” The industry itself is no longer a niche sector, he said. “There are opportunities on the horizon, and that is why I am optimistic about the future.”