The US Travel Association warned in a new report that US domestic travel is about to "level off" after achieving 105 straight months of overall expansion. The report indicates a "perfect storm" of factors is brewing that is currently suppressing international demand for travel to the US.
The organization highlighted a strong dollar as one of the significant factors in deterring foreigners from visiting. Another issue presented is the global slowdown and political uncertainties in Asia, Europe, and Latin America spurred by the ongoing trade war.
"We're seeing something of a perfect storm of factors that could suppress international demand for travel to the U.S.," said David Huether, U.S. Travel senior vice president for research.
"The U.S. dollar has been on another very robust strengthening trend since April of this year, while the global economy has been cooling off considerably overall. That, coupled with political uncertainty in Europe and rising trade tensions, is a bad-news recipe for inbound travel."
Furthermore, the international Leading Travel Index (LTI) forecasts that the market will not expand any further at all in the next six months, which coincides with our thoughts of a significant economic slowdown that is currently festering in Asia and Europe and could soon rear its ugly head in US macro data in the next several quarters.
The monthly Travel Trends Index (TTI) is prepared for US 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.
TTI draws from advanced search and bookings data from ADARA and nSight; airline bookings data from the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC); IATA, OAG and other tabulations of international inbound travel to the U.S.; and hotel room demand data from STR.
TTI shows that overall travel to and within the US grew 1.6% y/y in September, but warns of declining domestic travel rates, with business travel appearing to have plateaued and leisure travel accounting for the small growth. International travel was up 4.4% in September y/y, but US Travel said that since inbound had dropped 2.2% in September 2017, the y/y improvement "is liable to appear over-inflated."
US Travel Association Chartpack-
Overall Current Travel Index
International Current Travel Index
Domestic Current Travel Index
Domestic Business Current Travel Index
Domestic Leisure Current Travel Index
Finally, the Dow Jones Travel & Leisure Index, an index that provides coverage on 95% of market capitalization of travel and leisure stocks, confirms the industry has fallen under hard times in recent months.