Driven by Tourism Economics’ travel forecasting model, the latest U.S. Travel Forecast projects the following:
International travel to the U.S. is growing quickly but is still far from a full pre-pandemic recovery.
An expected global macroeconomic slowdown, a strong dollar, and lengthy visa wait times could inhibit future growth, with volume reaching 98% of 2019 levels in 2024 (up from 84% recovered in 2023) and achieving a full recovery in 2025. Spending levels, when adjusted for inflation, are not expected to recover until 2026.
Other countries with whom the U.S. directly competes have recovered their pre-pandemic visitation rates more quickly, and some countries—such as France and Spain—have even increased their share of the global travel market. Meanwhile, U.S. global market share is declining.
Business travel is still expected to grow in 2024, albeit at a slower rate.
Volume in the sector is expected to end the year at 95% of 2019 levels—up from 89% recovered in 2023. Slowing economic growth will hinder domestic business travel’s recovery, with a full comeback in volume not expected until 2026. Domestic business travel spending is not expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels within the range of the forecast.
Domestic leisure growth decelerated through three quarters of 2023 as consumer spending slowed amid higher borrowing costs, tighter credit conditions and the restart of student loan repayments.
The sector achieved a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
To complement the travel forecast table, U.S. Travel has released an accompanying slide deck, which provides context for the latest projections. This document, which appears on the right under “downloads,” is available exclusively to U.S. Travel members.
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