Outlined below are some of the current travel industry trends in the most recent "U.S. Travel Outlook" from the U.S. Travel Association, written by David Huether, Senior Vice President of Research.
Current State of the Economy and Travel: The months leading up to the second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) release lauded the resilience of the consumer, who turned in three solid months of consumer spending. It cheered on the labor market that turned in two surging jobs reports, validating that the consumer spending bump may be here to stay. Even after the fallout of Brexit, the Federal Reserve released a somewhat optimistic take on the economy, keeping monetary policy accommodative but having the confidence to raise rates later this year.
Labor: U.S. employment rose more than expected for the second month in a row in July and wages picked up, bolstering expectations of faster economic growth, and raising the probability of a Federal Reserve interest rate increase this year.
Consumer Confidence: The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which increased in June, was relatively unchanged in July.
Consumer Spending: Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) continued to grow in June by 0.4 percent month on month (m/m), according to Department of Commerce estimates released in August.
Leisure Travel: AARP released survey results on air travel by generations and found that among the 58 percent of Baby Boomers who traveled by air for leisure last year, 14 percent reported the experience as stressful.
Business Travel: Transient business travel bookings at North American hotels continue to look bleak, according to TravelClick's July 2016 North American Hospitality Review.
Air Travel: The major U.S. airlines expect 15.6 million passengers to fly over the seven-day Labor Day travel period, up 4 percent from the same period a year ago, according to Airlines for America.
Roads & Rails: Last year, the average commuter wasted 42 hours—more than a typical work week—and $960 snarled in traffic, according to a study from the Auto Insurance Center.
Lodging Industry: STR reported that average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) rebounded and the U.S. hotel industry saw positive results in June. Occupancy was nearly flat, growing just 0.3 percent to 73.1 percent.
International Travel: The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) recently published its latest estimates for international travel to the U.S. in 2015, and despite a large decline in Canadian visitation, 2015 did note see overseas visitation surpassing visitation from Canada and Mexico.
Exports: The U.S. trade deficit hit a 10-month high of $44.5 billion in June, according to Department of Commerce estimates.
State of Business: The Census Bureau's "Advance Report on Durable Goods," a report which serves as the proxy for business spending, woefully disappointed economists in its June reading, with new orders dropping 4 percent from May (m/m).