International travel continued to defy the expectations of many in May 2017, according to the U.S. Travel Association's latest Travel Trends Index (TTI), posting its 13th straight month of year-over-year growth.
International travel to the U.S. grew 5.2 percent in May versus the same month in 2016.
In fact, the latest TTI even revised upward (to 6.6 percent) its positive international travel figure from April—the first month of data to begin fully reflecting any effects of President Trump's initial executive order on immigration issued January 27.
"There is widespread talk of daunting challenges to the U.S. travel market—perception of the country abroad is mentioned most, but the strong dollar and slowing global economy are factors as well—yet the resilience of our sector continues to astound,"
said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "Tourism marketing efforts at the federal, state and local level undoubtedly deserve a large measure of credit, and policymakers need to be aware of the large dividends these programs are paying for economic activity, jobs and tax revenues."
Travel growth overall remained strong, buoyed by solid domestic travel demand—both business and leisure. Leisure travel continued to lead the domestic market, but business travel growth rallied after a lackluster performance in April that was largely attributable to the timing of holidays like Easter and Passover.
Overall, travel will likely grow by about 1.8 percent through November 2017, and domestic travel growth will lead the U.S. travel market into the end of the year. However, while growth in forward-looking domestic bookings and searches remains positive, their pace of growth is markedly slower than this time last year.
The U.S. Travel Association developed the TTI in partnership with Oxford Economics, and draws from multiple data sources to develop these monthly readings. In order to compile both the CTI and LTI readings, the organization's research team utilizes multiple unique non-personally identifiable data sets, including:
• Advance search and bookings data from ADARA and nSight;
• Passenger enplanement data from Airlines for America (A4A);
• Airline bookings data from the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC); and
• Hotel room demand data from STR.
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