The Trump administration’s travel ban may yet have a dampening effect on international travel, but the US Travel Association (USTA) is predicting strong growth in the coming year, spurred mostly by domestic travel.
The group’s monthly Travel Trends Index for April 2017 reported that travel to and within the US grew 1.6 per cent between April 2016 and April 2017 — a period that included the turmoil over Trump’s attempted ban on inbound travel from several Muslim-majority countries.
However, the USTA’s Leading Travel Index (LTI), which forecasts future travel trends, predicts a weakening of inbound travel between now and October 2017.
“Domestic travel is expected to grow by about 2 per cent, while international travel may decline slightly,” according to the Travel Trends Index.
“Looking ahead, a variety of factors, including the strength of the US dollar, a fragile global economy, and a turbulent political environment are expected to negatively impact international inbound travel.”
The Current Travel Index (CTI), which measures the current direction and pace of travel involving a hotel stay and/or air travel, was off slightly from March 2017 but remained positive.
“The CTI has registered at or above the 50 mark for 88 straight months, as the industry settles into its eighth year of expansion,” the report noted.
Overall, leisure travel increased in April while business travel declined, although the report noted that the latter could be attributed to the timing of the Easter holiday.