A new report highlights that even though domestic travel to and within the United States grew in December, international inbound travel is expected to decrease.
The latest Travel Trends Index (TTI) report of the U.S. Travel Association shows that travel to and within the US increased 2.4% in December, marking its tenth consecutive year of expansion for this industry.
The study also forecasted that the number of domestic flights in the US will grow 1.4% year-over-year until June 2020, but international inbound travel is expected to drop slightly by 0.2% over the same period.
Sources from the U.S. Travel Association stressed that the tourism fall in international inbound travel is the result of strong trade tensions and the strength of the US dollar versus other currencies.
Although the forecast seems bleak, data suggest that international inbound travel slightly increased by 0.8% in December.
Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said that “Congress took an important step in December to reverse the slide in international inbound travel by reauthorizing the Brand USA destination marketing program.”
International visitor spending is vital for lowering the trade deficit, and a prolonged slide in that segment’s growth could have serious implications for the overall health of the American economy.
Although international arrivals will decrease, domestic, leisure and business travel segments rose 2.6% in December. Business travel surged beyond its six-month average, while the growth of leisure travel slowed to half of its six-month trend.
Next month, the TTI will probably be the first to highlight the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China on the US travel industry and the expected tourism fall.