US travel market share expected to decline through 2023

Though the U.S. Travel Association predicts overseas visitation to the United States will continue to grow through 2023, it forecasts that the United States' share of global long-haul travel will decrease. Photo credit: U.S. Travel Association

Sluggish demand for overseas travel to the United States will continue the trend of the country lagging behind international travel growth worldwide, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s latest forecast. Though global long-haul travel is projected to grow an average of 4.8 percent annually through 2023, it predicted U.S. growth to be half that figure, 2.4 percent.

This gap will further decrease the United States’ share of the long-haul travel market to 10.4 percent by 2023, continuing the steady slide from its previous high of 13.7 percent in 2015.

The USTA estimated the decline would translate to a loss to the U.S. economy of a further $78 billion in visitor spending and 130,000 American jobs. As a consequence of the decline since 2015, it said the economy has already lost $59 billion and 120,000 jobs through 2018.

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“Making [international inbound travel's] pace of growth a national priority could be a difference-maker in helping to keep the country out of a recession,” USTA President/CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. “Right now, the country is not capturing the full economic potential of overseas travel, but there are some turnkey policy solutions that could help to address that—starting with congressional reauthorization of the Brand USA tourism marketing organization.”

The association also found the domestic travel market to be slowing. It estimated it will increase just 1.4 percent in 2020, the slowest pace in four years.