International and domestic travel growth are projected to slow considerably in the first five months of 2019 due to "worrying trends," according to the U.S. Travel Association.

"A number of factors -- notably rising trade tensions, softening global growth and the increase in the value of the dollar against other currencies throughout 2018 -- have the potential to dampen international inbound travel in the near-term," said U.S. Travel senior vice president for research David Huether.

U.S. Travel projects that inbound travel growth will slow to 1% for the first five months of 2019, a drop from 3.8% growth for the same period in 2018. Domestic travel growth is expected to slow to 2.4%, with business outpacing leisure.

The slowdown is projected despite relatively strong 3% growth in November 2018, marking the industry's 107th straight month of expansion. International inbound travel expanded 3.8% in November and domestic travel was up 3%, with both business and leisure travel registering gains thanks to historically high levels of consumer confidence, U.S. Travel said. 

However, U.S. Travel cautions that the road ahead for domestic business travel could become rocky, as recent volatility in the markets could dampen what has been a strong investment trend.

"Looking ahead, both domestic and international travel demand are anticipated to slow amidst gradually cooling domestic and global economies, heightened market volatility and trade  tensions," said Adam Sacks, president of Oxford's Tourism Economics  group, which prepares U.S. Travel's research.

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