Stronger international demand and the first positive month for domestic business travel in over a year propped up growth in April 2016 according to the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index (TTI).
The association’s monthly economic indicator predicts moderate travel expansion into late 2016, with international inbound growth rivaling that of domestic overall. For much of 2016 thus far, the strong U.S. dollar has proven a drag on the demand for international travel to the U.S., and April’s report predicts a welcome rebound.
The April Current Travel Index (CTI) rose to 52.2, signaling the 76th straight month of growth for the industry (numbers above 50 indicate growth, and scores below 50 show contraction).
In the full report, the 3- and 6-month LTI readings of 51.3 and 51.1, respectively, indicate that U.S. travel overall is expected to grow at a rate of around two percent through October 2016.
Domestic business travel grew in April for the first time since March 2015. However, forecasters still expect the coming months to see abiding caution from businesses in the face of international market fluctuation.
Domestic leisure travel continued its steady growth in April, and is still expected to lead overall U.S. growth into late 2016. Furthermore, the TTI’s Leading Travel Index (LTI) projects a rebound for international inbound travel through late 2016 as well, with growth in international demand going toe-to-toe with domestic overall.
“This month’s report signals a ‘reversal of fortunes’ of sorts for much of the travel industry in the coming months,” said Senior Vice President for Research David Huether. “Domestic travel as a whole appears poised to take a backseat to international inbound travel in the near term, after outpacing it for the better part of a year. Domestic business travel grew in April for the first time in 13 months.”