Travel Trends Index: U.S. domestic, international demand expected to drag over next six months

Travel to and within the U.S. grew 3.2% year-over-year in May, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s latest Travel Trends Index (TTI). This marks the industry’s 113th straight month of overall expansion.

While this is up slightly from April’s 3.0% overall growth, the Leading Travel Index (LTI) predicts travel growth will soften through November 2019 across all travel segments.

The USTA reports that international travel grew only 1.2% in May, following three months of wide fluctuations due to the timing of Easter, which has historically been a peak travel time for visitors to the U.S.

Over the next six months, the LTI predicts international travel growth will slow to just 0.4%.

David Huether, U.S. Travel Sr Vice President for Research, cites the strong dollar and lingering trade tensions for sluggish growth for international inbound travel.

On the domestic travel side, travel demand increased 3.6% in May, buoyed by growth in both the business travel and leisure travel segments.

The LTI predicts domestic travel growth will expand only 2.0% through November, with leisure travel outpacing business travel growth.

Vacation intentions from January-April 2019 registered above 2018 levels over the same period, and forward-looking bookings and searches support predictions of continued, albeit moderate, growth.

The TTI is prepared for U.S. 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.