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Rivals will continue to outstrip US in tourism

July 5, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The US is missing out on its share of the ever-growing global travel market and will “continue to fall behind markets like China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom”, according to a new analysis by the US Travel Association.

The US Travel Association’s latest Travel Trends Index (TTI) says travel to and within the US grew 3.4% year-over-year in May, marking the industry’s 101st consecutive month of overall expansion.

However, the report noted, mounting trade tensions work against America’s pursuit of an increased share in the global travel market.

Most notable in the TTI is the effect near-historic highs in consumer confidence are having on the domestic travel market. According to the Leading Travel Index, US domestic travel is expected to increase by approximately 2.5% in the next six months.

Leisure travel led the US domestic market in May, but the strength in business sentiment “poses an opportunity for business travel to outpace leisure travel in the near term”, the report said.

While the US travel industry considers this is good news on the domestic front, it continues to be concerned about losing out on its share of the global travel market.

“Business travel has been on an upward trajectory in 2018, and this is expected to continue throughout the rest of the year,” US Travel senior vice president for Research, David Huether, commented.

“This is solid evidence that businesses are optimistic in the current economic environment, and are buoyed by the recent tax legislation.”

International inbound travel is heading into a summer season that is expected to grow approximately 3%. US Travel economists remain concerned however that rising trade tensions and higher oil prices may hinder global activity.

“Amid these positive signs, missed opportunities and storm clouds exist. We urge officials to foster policies and messaging in the race to be globally competitive,” Huether said.

Solid growth propelling global travel to new record highs, combined with relatively modest growth in inbound travel to the US, will result in the US continuing to lose out on its share of the ever-growing global travel market.

Despite modest increases in arrivals from some key markets, the sluggish rate of growth in inbound travel will see the US continue to fall behind markets like China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, whose share of the global travel market continues to increase.

Edited by Peter Needham

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