by Michael J. Shapiro | June 06, 2018
Travel to and within the United States was up by 3.6 percent year-over-year in April, according to figures just released in the U.S. Travel Association's Travel Trends Index, marking the 100th consecutive month of overall expansion in the travel industry. Domestic business travel was up for a fourth consecutive month, notable because it's the first time since the first four months of 2015 that such a streak has occurred. Business travel growth should outpace that of leisure travel in the near term, according to the report.
A strong international travel market contributed to positive raw growth in inbound traveler numbers as well, although the U.S. share of the international market continues to drop. "While travel overall is relatively healthy, particularly domestic business travel," said U.S. Travel senior vice president for research David Huether, "the U.S. travel industry continues to register concern over a declining share of the global travel market." Generally, he added, business confidence is strong, due in part to the recent tax cuts and a more favorable regulatory environment.
The pace of international inbound travel growth to the U.S. is lagging behind that of the overall long-haul market globally, the report notes, and the U.S. is falling behind Germany, France, China and the U.K., among others, when it comes to international growth figures.
The Travel Trends Index outlook projects slowing growth, forecasting increases in domestic travel by an average of 2.4 percent through October of this year, and for international travel to grow by 3 percent over the same period. Potential challenges, however, could come in the form of rising oil prices and increased trade tensions.