All that talk about now being a great time for Americans to travel abroad thanks to the strong dollar is probably not what the U.S. Travel Association wants to hear. Luckily, low gas prices mean that more Americans will be on the road than have been in the last few years.
International travel to the United States is declining, domestic business travel is in a slump, and the next few months are expected to bring more of the same.
The latest update from the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index included the words “dour,” “stagnant,” “lackluster,” and “drag,” but not much good news.
Business travel domestically was down in May, with growth prospects “subdued” through November, according to the report.
The strong dollar was a factor in causing international visitation — especially from Canada — to drop. International inbound travel has dropped, albeit modestly, for three months in a row. Any impact from the slide of the British pound after the Brexit vote won’t be known for another month.
“It will be interesting to see how global events, such as Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union, affect these trends in the months ahead,” said David Huether, vice president for research at the U.S. Travel Association, in the report.
U.S. Travel partnered with Oxford Economics to develop the index.
The one exception to the gloom was domestic leisure travel, which grew in May and kept overall travel numbers in the positive territory. Travel volume is expected to grow slightly through November, driven by Americans taking leisure trips.
“A thriving domestic leisure travel market remains the bright spot and will carry U.S. travel growth through the year’s end,” Adam Sacks, president of Oxford’s Tourism Economics group, said in the report.
Tags: u.s. travel
Photo credit: Tourists in Washington, D.C. Richard Ricciardi / Flickr