Travel Spending Plunges

Americans are taking their vacations at home this year. Travel spending declined for the first time since 9/11—off 22 percent in the last quarter, according to the Commerce Department. The result is a shrinking travel industry, with the trillion-dollar tourism sector feeling the pain, and consequently shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs over the past year. Tourism towns are hit particularly hard, with Las Vegas' unemployment now at 10 percent and Myrtle Beach's joblessness at 14 percent. The upside for the few consumers looking for a getaway? Deals are better than ever. Disneyland, for example, is offering free nights at its hotels to lure families to the resort, which has seen occupancy levels slide this year.