Growth in US domestic and international travel is a mixed bag through YE2018 

Both US domestic and international travel are forecast to grow through the end of 2018, but the US Travel Association is cautioning that rising oil prices and uncertainty over tariffs are creating a certain level of uneasiness amongst consumers.


Summary:

  • US domestic and international travel may be forecast to grow in 2018, but rising oil prices and uncertainty over tariffs have delivered uneasiness amongst consumers;
  • Latest Travel Trends Index data from US Travel Association shows business and leisure domestic travel expanded every month during the first half of this year;
  • US Travel Association calculates US domestic travel should grow an average of 2.6% year-on-year through Dec-2018;
  • International inbound travel to the US slowed in Jun-2018, but is projected to increase by approximately 2.2% through the remainder of 2018.

The latest data Travel Trends Index released by the association show the leading travel index (LTI) has been above 50 (which signals expansion) since Jun-2017.

“For the first time in the history of the Travel Trends Index, both the business and leisure segments of domestic travel expanded every month during the first half of the year,” said association SVP for Research David Huether.

The association calculates US domestic travel should grow an average of 2.6% year-on-year through Dec-2018, driven by strong consumer outlays and solid business investment. But, the association warned that “that growth in fuel costs and trade uncertainty, particularly with regard to US tariffs, could dampen consumer confidence”.

International inbound travel to the US slowed in Jun-2018. But the association’s forecast shows international travel is projected to increase by approximately 2.2% through the remainder of 2018.  However, belying that forecast is a conclusion by the US Travel Association that the US “is well off the pace of long-haul travel worldwide, projected to increase six percent in 2018”.

The TTI is prepared for the US Travel Association by the research firm Oxford Economics. The TTI is based on public and private sector source data which are subject to revision by the source agency. The TTI draws from: advance search and bookings data from ADARA and nSight; airline bookings data from the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC); IATA, OAG and other tabulations of international inbound travel to the U.S.; and hotel room demand data from STR.