Stats: Domestic Leisure Travel Outpaces Business, Inbound Travel

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Domestic travel in the United States continued to grow in August, even as business and inbound international travel remained relatively weak, according to the latest research from the U.S. Travel Association

According to U.S. Travel’s latest Travel Trends Index (TTI), travel to and within the United States grew 3 percent year-over-year in August, marking the 116th straight month of growth. Domestic leisure travel was a particular bright spot, expanding by 4 percent with vacation intentions reaching their highest level in 2019 thus far. However, forward-looking bookings and search data indicate there may be uncertainty on the horizon for the domestic segment: the Leading Travel Index (LTI), the TTI's predictive element, projects domestic travel growth will soften to just 1.8 percent in the coming six months.

Domestic travel as a whole grew 3.4 percent, dragged down slightly by a weakening domestic business travel segment (1.2%), though business travel is expected to pick up again and expand 1.6 percent over the next six months, according to the report. 

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"While the travel engine is not firing on all cylinders, the overall pace of travel through the first eight months of this year is solid," said U.S. Travel Senior Vice President of Research David Huether in a written statement.

International inbound travel was flat in August, which is a slight improvement over its 1.2 percent decline in July. Over the next six months, the LTI projects the segment will decline 0.6 percent as it faces continuing obstacles in the form of trade tensions and the strength of the dollar, U.S. Travel said. 

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