In language that is unusually sober and gloomy for an official release from the nation’s number one association for the U.S. tour and travel industry, the U.S. Travel Association’s senior vice president for research, David Huether on Election Day issued the organization’s monthly Travel Trends Index (TTI), which contained this warning: “We’re seeing something of a perfect storm of factors that could suppress international demand for travel to the U.S. The U.S. dollar has been on another very robust strengthening trend since April of this year, while the global economy has been cooling off considerably overall. That, coupled with political uncertainty in Europe and rising trade tensions, is a bad-news recipe for inbound travel.”
“It would also be easy to misconstrue the international component of the latest TTI, which showed 4.4 percent year-over-year growth. But with inbound having posted a sharp 2.2 percent drop in September of 2017, any year-over-year improvement at all is liable to appear overinflated,” the TTI news release stated, adding, “Furthermore, the international Leading Travel Index (LTI) predicts that market will not expand any further at all in the next six months.” (The 4.4 percent increase tracks closely with the latest data from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office, which reported a 4.6 percent increase in overseas travel to the USA through May 2018.)
* Average outlook reading for October 2018 to December 2019
** Average outlook reading for October 2018 to March 2019
The TTI is prepared for US Travel 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. Click here to read the full report.
The Big Picture: Following are the latest data on overseas travel and tourism to the USA from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO). Five of the top overseas source markets (China, Japan, Germany, South Korea and Australia) registered negative to flat growth through the first five months of 2018.
A REMINDER: The INBOUND Report will not publish next week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S. It will resume publishing the following week, with the Nov. 29, 2018 issue.