April 05, 2016

Volatility in international markets has left American businesses uncertain about the global economy. As a result, business travel within the United States is contracting, according to the U.S. Travel Association, which today released the results of its latest Travel Trends Index (TTI) showing a February decline in domestic business travel.

U.S. Travel's Current Travel Index (CTI), which measures current travel demand on a 100-point scale, was 48.7 for business travel in February, falling below the six-month average of 49.3. Anything below 50 represents a decline.

Unfortunately, the trend is likely to continue into the summer: U.S. Travel's predictive six-month Leading Travel Index (LTI) stands at 49.7 for business travel, indicating continued contraction for the near future.

On the bright side, leisure travel scored a CTI of 52.3 in February, and a six-month LTI of 52, which was high enough to keep the travel industry's overall score -- a CTI of 51.1 and a six-month LTI of 51.2 -- in a growth position for the 74th consecutive month.

"Even though domestic business travel declined … these number should be measured against the healthy growth seen in previous months," said U.S. Travel Association Senior Vice President for Research David Huether. "Domestic leisure travel is likely to buoy summer travel expenditures, and keep overall travel growth in positive territory for the next six months."