U.S. Travel Association Predicts International Inbound Travel to the U.S. Will Slow

The U.S. Travel Association's latest Travel Trends Index shows travel to the U.S. and within the country increased by 3.2 percent in October 2018 compared with October 2017. The increase marks the industry's 106th consecutive month of growth and the rise was seen on both the business and leisure front.

It's not all good news in the report, however: According to the Leading Travel Index, the projection for the new year is less optimistic. While international inbound travel grew 2.4 percent year-over-year in October, the rate of growth was smaller than September.
 
"A worrying trend of deceleration has taken root in the second half of the year," said David Huether, U.S. Travel's senior vice president for research. "Weakening global economic conditions, combined with rising trade tensions and a strengthening dollar, will continue to spell trouble for the international segment."
 
Going forward, inbound travel is projected to decelerate until April 2019. In comparison, U.S. Travel says domestic travel will grow 2.4 percent year-over-year through April 2019, largely driven by business travel. 

According to the report, there are several elements hindering growth: "Trade tensions and uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration remain major risks to international traveler sentiment. Furthermore, it continues to appear that global economic growth will have peaked in 2018 and will moderate through the start of 2019. The recent appreciation of the dollar may act as an additional headwind for international inbound travel going forward."