The travel industry remains mired in a slow growth curve along with the global economy, the US Travel Association (USTA) reported this week, forecasting continued tepid progress for the remainder of the year.
Based on a proprietary econometric model USTA operates with Oxford’s Tourism Economics group, the USTA’s Travel Trends Index (TTI) stood at 52.2 in April, indicating that travel grew about 4% that month. (Any TTI score above 50 indicates travel growth.)
This is the 76th month where the TTI score has been above 50, most recently reaching as high as 53 in September of last year.
“Domestic leisure travel continued to grow at a steady pace in April, and is expected to lead the U.S. travel sector into late 2016,” USTA said.
While domestic business travel grew in April for the first time in more than a year, the organization believes that is due in part to the timing of Easter 2016. Business travel likely will contract through the end of this year, USTA forecast, remaining “a drag on overall domestic travel growth in the coming months.”
The Index is forecasting about 2% growth for domestic travel overall for the remainder of the year, and slightly faster growth for inbound international travel.
“International inbound travel growth remains modest, though overseas demand is strengthening,” said USTA, projecting a rebound in international travel. A slowdown in inbound Canada bookings likely will temper any strength.
“A rebound in Canadian travel demand is unlikely given weaker fundamentals and the strong dollar,” said Adam Sacks, president of Oxford’s Tourism Economics group.