The steep and steady decline in the US share of the lucrative international travel market is set to continue until at least 2022, according to the latest forecast figures from the US Travel Association.
US global long-haul travel market share is on a four-year slide since its previous high of 13.7% in 2015, falling to 11.7% in 2018. The decline in market share represents losses to the US economy of 14 million international visitors, $59bn in international traveller spending, and 120,000 US jobs.
But the market-share drop is now forecast to continue, dipping under 11% in 2022, the latest out-year in the US Travel forecast.
Between now and 2022, that would mean a further economic hit of 41 million visitors, US$180bn in international traveler spending and 266,000 jobs.
“Everyone is wondering how much longer the US economic expansion can go on, and shoring up our international travel market share would be a great way to help it continue,” said US Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Barnes.
“There are some tools in the policy toolbox that will help fix it, and we’re not talking about huge taxpayer-funded spending outlays. Passing legislation to renew Brand USA is the most immediate move to help correct this problem, and we hope this shows Congress the urgency of getting that done this year.”
US Travel economists point to several factors for the gloomy international inbound forecast, foremost among them the continued, historic strength of the US dollar, which makes traveling to the US from other countries much more expensive. Other factors include ongoing trade tensions, which materially dampen the demand for travel, and stiff competition from rivals for international tourism dollars.
Brand USA, the organisation tasked with promoting the US globally as a travel destination, is up for renewal via bills that have been introduced in both the House and Senate. Barnes said the latest market share data makes passing that legislation more crucial than ever.