European source market still key to strength and growth of overseas tourism to USA: The recently posted, six-year forecast of international tourism arrivals to the USA from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO) shows that, fears of a Brexit-related slump as well as a British disdain for U.S. President Donald J. Trump, would cause a decline in British travel to the United States, are apparently unfounded.
As well, despite the hyper-inflated expectations that began in the middle of the current decade—a Pacific Asia Travel Association report in the Spring of 2016 predicted that China would be the USA’s largest overseas source market by 2020—travel from China will sink 5 percent this year, and is now expected to remain the No. 3 overseas market (behind the UK and Japan) through 2024.
For overseas travel, the outlook for all of 2019 is positive—up 1.5 percent. As for the European market, if you review the data in the NTTO forecast below, you will see that just a half-dozen European source markets—the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands—will account for more than a quarter (27 percent, or 1.7 million) of the expected increase in total overseas visits to the USA over the next six years.
As an aside, it should be noted that the numbers in the NTTO long-term forecast, comprise a justification, of sorts, for the Brand USA’s strategy to promote the United States to Europe, treating the latter as a single market.
Here, INBOUND leaves it to the reader to analyze the rather substantial display of data in the NTTO long-term forecast. For a larger view, you can visit the NTTO website’s version here.
Meanwhile, from the latest issue of the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index (TTI): “International inbound travel—which has experienced a roller coaster of growth spurts and contraction in 2019—was flat in August. While this is a slight improvement from the 1.2 percent decline registered in July, it is not the hoped-for sign of international inbound travel’s revival. Over the next six months, the Leading Travel Index (the TTI’s predictive element) projects the segment will decline 0.6 percent as it faces continuing obstacles in the form of trade tensions and the strength of the dollar.”
Acknowledging the efforts of Brand USA in the face of a sluggish market, David Huether, U.S. Travel’s senior vice president of research, said “Brand USA has kept the U.S. competitive in the global travel market and prevented the decline in our country’s share of global travel from being worse,” adding that “it is crucial that Congress works quickly to reauthorize Brand USA this year to ensure the future of the United States’ travel promotion and planning.”