Domestic leisure travel is slowing down after months of
being the driver of industry growth in the U.S.
In July, domestic leisure travel grew at its slowest rate
since December 2012, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s latest Travel
Trends Index (TTI). The report found that the domestic sector would continue to
grow through the rest of 2016, but at a much slower pace.
For the past several months, domestic leisure has surged while business travel and inbound
international travel softened. In July, domestic leisure weakened because consumer confidence, which previously had been boosted
by low fuel prices, has waned, said the U.S. Travel Association.
Domestic business travel, the report found, was positive for
the second month in a row but will decline toward the end of the year.
“What we're seeing here is a reversal from the
post-recession economic expansion, when international inbound travel ignited
the recovery,” stated U.S. Travel’s senior vice president for research, David
Huether. “International inbound travel’s return to sluggish growth patterns in
July was to be expected, given the dollar's continued dominance and Europe’s
Brexit hangover. Even as it weakens slightly, domestic leisure travel will
continue as the main source of strength for the travel industry.”
U.S. Travel predicted that those factors would “most likely
drag international inbound growth to a standstill by the end of this year.”
However, the report said that the U.S. travel industry “remains
in expansion mode,” indicating that U.S. travel overall is expected to grow at
a rate of around 1.1% through January 2017.