June 2019 was the worst month since September 2018 for travel to and within the United States, according to a new report from the U.S. Travel Association. According to the organization’s latest Travel Trends Index (TTI), travel grew 2.4 percent year-over-year in June.
International inbound travel declined by 0.8 percent, according to the TTI, which brought the sector's six-month trend below zero for the first time since September 2015. This drop in international inbound travel follows the news that travel employment tumbled in July, U.S. Travel said, losing 2,500 jobs despite the relative strength of the overall job market.
The Leading Travel Index (LTI), the predictive component of the TTI, projects international inbound travel growth will remain just below zero over the next six months, settling around -0.2 percent.
U.S. Travel said that the decline is consistent with its previous forecast, which projects America's share of the global long-haul travel market will fall from its current 11.7 percent to below 10.9 percent by 2022. The organization’s economists point to the continued strength of the U.S. dollar, prolonged and rising trade tensions, and stiff competition from rivals for tourism business as contributing factors to the decline.
Domestic business travel struggled as well, declining 0.2 percent after showing positive signs in May, U.S. Travel said. Cooling business investment and ongoing trade conflicts weighed on domestic business travel and will continue to do so through the rest of 2019. The only bright spot in the TTI was the strength of domestic leisure travel, which expanded 3.8 percent—on par with that segment's six-month trend.