INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TO the U.S. for 2019 is expected to have shrunk by 1 percent from the previous year, according to U.S. Travel Association’s December Outlook. A strong economy is expected to encourage more domestic travel for compensation, but there are signs of some slowing in the lodging industry.
Incoming international travel was mostly slowed by a 3 percent drop in visits from Canada and a 4 percent drop in visits from Mexico. For the year, USTA predicts domestic travel to have grown 1.7 percent, driven largely by strong personal income, employment, consumer confidence, and spending.
- S. travel saw a 2.2 percent growth in October, the most recent month for complete data, over the same time last year, according to the index. International inbound travel was flat during the month while USTA’s Leading Travel Index indicates a 0.8 percent decline in inbound travel volume over the next six months.
Domestic business travel underperformed its six-month trend and declined 1.6 percent, however, the strength of domestic leisure travel helped to maintain overall domestic travel positive with 2.6 percent growth.
October was also the second straight month with a RevPAR decline, indicating the start of a downcycle, according to USTA.
RevPAR for the U.S. declined 1.2 percent in October, while occupancy declined 0.8 percent and ADR declined 0.5 percent, according to STR. USTA says the decline marks the first time that U.S. ADR was down since March 2010, which is when the current upturn began.
Occupancy, ADR and RevPAR all saw increases in the third week of December.
U.S. Travel’s December outlook shows an improvement in the U.S. economic output from previous worries of an oncoming recession. Fueled by strong consumer spending, the third-quarter GDP grew up to 2.1 percent seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR), beating the initial estimate of 1.9 percent SAAR.