Domestic business travel increased by 2.0 percent in March, outpaced by the domestic leisure travel segment registered 3.2 percent growth, according to the US Travel Association’s latest Travel Trends Index. Overall travel to and within the US grew 2.0 percent year-over-year in March, marking the industry’s 111th straight month of overall expansion.
However, this growth was dragged down by international inbound travel which fell 5.4 percent year-over-year in March after declining just 0.2 percent in February. The sharp decline in international inbound travel in March was likely due to the timing of Easter, a historically peak travel time for visitors to the US. The holiday fell much later this year resulting in lower levels of inbound travel in March 2019 compared to March 2018.
Global economic activity is expected to improve, yet remain soft, in the second half of 2019, supporting predictions that international inbound travel growth will be positive, but slow. Both segments of domestic travel are projected to cool in the coming months with the Leading Trends Index predicting domestic travel overall to grow 2.0 percent through September 2019. Domestic business travel is projected to grow 1.6 percent while domestic leisure travel is projected to expand 2.2 percent.