U.S. Travel lowered its latest Travel Trends Index (TTI) after it said “a revised analysis reveals major storm clouds for the inbound international travel market.” The organization previously was optimistic in its reporting of international visitation, which was initially found to have grown consistently in 2017.
After updating its report with newly available data, U.S. Travel found that international visitation actually contracted in four of the seven months for which data is so far available. The declines were steepest in February (6.8 percent) and March (8.2 percent). U.S. Travel economists noted a slight uptick in April, which was likely “due to the travel-heavy Easter holiday falling in that month this year.”
U.S. Travel Association Senior Vice President for Research David Huether noted that the data revisions are in line with the international travel drop-off that the TTI has been predicting all year long.
“We kept projecting drops in international visitation, and they kept not materializing,” Huether said. “However, we ... were able to access new data inputs for the TTI to give us an even more comprehensive picture and ... the international travel segment has been far weaker than what was initially shown.”
The TTI is prepared for U.S. Travel by the research firm Oxford Economics. U.S. Travel and Oxford routinely seek to identify available data sources that add to the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the index. The data sets added to the latest TTI calculations came from IATA, OAG and other tabulations of international inbound travel to the U.S., and resulted in the downward revision of previous TTI results.
The updated TTI report is available in PDF form on the U.S. Travel website.