Report: Domestic travel in U.S. grows, inbound remains flat

Photo credit: Pexels/C. Cagnin

Overall travel, both domestic and international inbound combined, to the United States grew 3 percent year-over-year in August, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s latest Travel Trends Index, marking the industry’s 116th straight month of growth.

The bright spot in the TTI was the strength of the domestic leisure travel segment, which expanded 4 percent, while vacation intentions reached their highest level in 2019 thus far. However, forward-looking bookings and search data indicate there could be uncertainty on the horizon for the domestic segment. The Leading Travel Index (LTI), the TTI’s predictive element, projects domestic travel growth will soften to 1.8 percent in the coming six months.

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Overall, domestic travel grew 3.4 percent but was dragged down slightly by a weakening domestic business travel segment (1.2 percent), though business travel is expected to pick up again and expand 1.6 percent over the next six months.

Photo credit: U.S. Travel Association

On the other hand, international inbound travel to the U.S., which has experienced ups and downs throughout the year, was flat in August. While this is a slight improvement from the 1.2-percent decline in July, it doesn’t point to its revival, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Over the next six months, the LTI projects the segment will decline 0.6 percent as it faces continuing obstacles from trade tensions and the strength of the dollar.

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