U.S. Domestic Travel Continues to Grow, While International Inbound Could Decelerate

Travel to and within the United States grew for the 104th straight month in August, expanding by 3.8 percent over last year, according to the U.S. Travel Association's latest Travel Trends Index. While the industry remains healthy overall, U.S. Travel economists point to decelerating inbound international business as a point of concern.

Domestic business is particularly strong, with consumer spending and consumer confidence more robust than they've been since 2000. Domestic business and leisure travel were both up in August, according to the TTI, with business travel growth exceeding that of leisure for the second time in the past five months.

The association's predictive Leading Travel Index indicates slowing growth, however. Domestic travel is expected to rise by 2.6 percent through 2019, but most notably, international inbound is slated to increase by just 0.6 percent.

While the international rate is still positive, analysts at the organization fear the United States will continue to lose global-travel market share. Numbers indicate the nation has already been sliding, from a peak market share in 2015 of 13.8 percent to just 12.2 percent last year.

"Rising trade tensions and the expected cooling of global economic momentum is a cause for concern," said U.S. Travel senior vice president for research David Huether. "We urge officials to support policies and messaging that convey our country's desire to welcome all legitimate business and leisure travelers."