US Travel Market Forecast to Decline Through 2023

Overseas demand for travel to the U.S. remains sluggish as the country falls behind international travel growth.

The latest forecast released by the U.S. Travel Association shows that this trend will continue through 2023 and highlights the need for the reauthorization of Brand USA.

The data reveals that the U.S. share of the total long-haul travel market will decline to 10.4 percent by 2023, declining from its high of 13.7 percent in 2015.

While global long-haul travel is projected to grow an average of 4.8 percent annually through 2023, the pace of U.S. growth will be just half of that figure (2.4 percent).

According to U.S. Travel, the 2019-2023 decline in market share would translate to a loss to the U.S. economy of a further $78 billion in visitor spending and 130,000 American jobs.

Since international visitor numbers began to decline, the economy has taken a hit, losing $59 billion and 120,000 jobs through 2018.

“International inbound travel is the No. 2 U.S. export, and making its pace of growth a national priority could be a difference-maker in helping to keep the country out of a recession,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “Right now, the country is not capturing the full economic potential of overseas travel, but there are some turnkey policy solutions that could help to address that—starting with congressional reauthorization of the Brand USA tourism marketing organization.”

An added concern is the projected soft growth in the normally strong domestic travel market, which will increase by just 1.4 percent in 2020.

U.S. Travel notes that the reauthorization of Brand USA could lessen the blow and its unique funding model doesn’t cost U.S. taxpayers a dime. The agency will expire next year without immediate action by Congress and is a crucial program for ensuring the U.S. remains competitive in the race for international tourism dollars and their resulting economic benefits.

According to U.S. Travel, Brand USA’s marketing efforts over the past six years have brought 6.6 million incremental visitors to the U.S., generating $47.7 billion in economic impact and supporting nearly 52,000 American jobs annually.

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