Travel to and within the US in 2016 grew 2.4 percent from December 2015, led by renewed strength in the domestic business travel sector, according to the US Travel Association’s latest Travel Trends Index.
Following a strong showing in November's data for domestic business, the sector’s immediate growth declined slightly in December 2016. However, the forecast in the Leading Travel Index indicates that domestic business travel’s growth rate will rebound, and catch up to that of domestic leisure travel – the sector that has typically led US travel growth.
The index includes both current travel, measured the number of person-trips involving hotel stays and/or flights each month, and a future travel predictions, based on the likely average pace and direction of business and leisure travel, both domestic and international inbound. The 6-month predictive Leading Travel Index indicates that US travel volume is expected to grow at a rate of around two percent through June 2017.
The analysis and forecasts in the latest TTI are through December 2016 – prior to any executive orders issued by the new Trump administration on border security and visas.
“Looking back on 2016, it is remarkable to observe the resilience of the travel industry, which is approaching its eighth straight year of expansion,” said US Travel Association senior vice president for research David Huether.