US Travel Association: Headwinds are on the horizon even as current trends remain strong 

Travel to and from the US continues to show solid growth, but travel economists remain cautious about international travel trends.


Summary:

  • Travel to and from the US continues to show solid growth, but travel economists remain cautious about international travel trends;
  • US Travel Association data shows  travel to and within the US increased +3.8% year-on-year in Aug-2018;
  • The association noted strength in US domestic and business travel, which was buoyed by consumer confidence reaching heights last seen in 2000.
  • Despite the strong results in Aug-2018, the US Travel Association is issuing warnings about future travel trends.

During Aug-2018, travel to and within the US increased 3.8% year-on-year, which was the 104th month of overall expansion, according to the US Travel Association.

The association noted strength in US domestic and business travel, which was buoyed by consumer confidence reaching heights last seen in 2000. Domestic business travel grew faster than leisure travel for the second time in the last five months. Growth is determined by a measure of 50 or above on the Travel Trends Index (TTI).

Despite the strong results in Aug-2018, the US Travel Association is issuing warnings about future travel trends.

The association stated the six month Leading Travel Index (LTI) shows US domestic travel should grow at a rate of 2.6% through 2019. However, international travel is only projected to grow at a rate of 0.6% during that same timeframe.

And even as current trends for US domestic leisure and business travel remain solid, “tthere is reason to believe that the domestic travel market will soften in the coming months, as overall economic growth is expected to slow through the end of the year”, the association stated.

“Rising trade tensions and the expected cooling of global economic momentum is a cause for concern,” says David Huether, senior vice president for research. “In terms of travel market share, the US is falling behind the rest of the world, and we urge officials to support policies and messaging that convey our country’s desire to welcome all legitimate business and leisure travellers.”