US Travel Association: International travel trends continue to show slower growth

The US Travel Association has been warning of slowing international travel to the country for some time, and the group continues to caution slowing growth will be mainstay through the start of 2019.


Summary:

  • The US Travel Association continues to caution slowing growth will be mainstay through the start of 2019;
  • Its latest research shows inbound travel to the US slowed in Oct-2018, but remains in growth;
  • International travel to the US is “expected to to continue to slow further through the start of 2019”, the association concludes.

The association’s latest research shows the US’ inbound travel slowed in Oct-2018, with the current travel index slowing to 51.2 compared with 52.2 in Sep-2018 and a six month average of 51.5 (any reading about 50 signals growth).

International travel to the US is “expected to to continue to slow further through the start of 2019”, the association concluded. “Trade tensions, and uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration remain major risks to international traveller sentiment.”

The latest travel forecast also warns that “it continues to appear that global economic growth will have peaked in 2018, and will moderate through the start of 2019”, and concludes recent appreciation of the USD could act as an additional headwind for international inbound travel in the future.

US Travel Association in conjunction with its partner Oxford Economics is forecasting leading indicators for international travel hovering around 50 for the six month period beginning in Oct-2018.

“…with the global economy cooling, [US] domestic growth is expected to slow, and heightened market volatility and trade tensions, both domestic and international demand are anticipated to slow”.

US business travel growth is forecast to outpace domestic travel during the six month period beginning in Oct-2018, but gains in both segments are slowing compared with current travel indexes and the three month leading travel indicator.

Domestic travel overall is projected to grow at +2.4% year-on-year through Apr-2019, with business travel fuelling the increases. However, “heightened market volatility and rising trade tensions could temper business investment and constrain what is expected to be the fastest-growing travel segment”, the US Travel Association concludes.