Until recently, the U.S. Travel Association’s prediction of decreased international travel to the U.S. has not come to fruition. Something has changed, though.
U.S. Travel isn’t reversing its forecast, nor has the trend line changed. Rather, U.S. Travel has added to the data sources that inform its Travel Trends Index.
The association had expected inbound U.S. travel to start falling in February as a result of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. In April and May, BTN reported, that decline had not materialized in the index.
“We kept projecting drops in international visitation, and they kept not materializing,” said U.S. Travel SVP for research David Huether. “However, we recently were able to access new data inputs for the TTI to give us an even more comprehensive picture.”
The TTI covering May named the following data sources: STR, TNS, Airlines for America, Statistics Canada, and the U.S. government’s I-94 program and Advanced Passenger Information System. The most recent index, which covers July and includes revisions for the previous six months, omits Airlines for America and adds OAG, the International Air Transport Association Billing Settlement Plan, Sabre and major U.S. airlines’ investor relations reports. Oxford Economics analyzes the data on behalf of U.S. Travel.
Revised Numbers U.S. Travel’s monthly reports had indicated year-over-year growth in January, February, March, April and May and static inbound numbers in June and July. The revised numbers say inbound travel grew just barely in January, when Trump was inaugurated, then declined in February by 6.8% and in March by 8.2%, as Trump’s travel ban faced litigation. Inbound travel grew in April – boosted by Easter, according to U.S. Travel – and just slightly in May, despite the March implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s laptop ban. Inbound international travel to the U.S. contracted again in June and July.
Source: Business Travel News