US Travel Association Unveils New Domestic Tourism Outlook

US Travel Association Unveils New Domestic Tourism Outlook

Senior friends traveling together take a selfie (monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images)

New data from the U.S. Travel Association forecasted all segments of travel are projected to surge in the short term due to pent-up demand and consumer savings.

According to the U.S. Travel’s biannual forecast, the surge in short-term travel spending and volume is not expected to last, though, leading to slower growth in the later years of the forecast, which runs through 2026.

The association estimates that $1.05 trillion will be spent on travel in America this year, which is still 10 percent below 2019 levels and 16 percent below where it should have been in 2022 if not for the pandemic.

The study projects domestic business travel volume will reach 81 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and 96 percent in 2023, but spending will not fully recover to pre-pandemic levels before 2026.

To help the business travel sector’s recovery, the association called on the government to support a tax extenders package that includes a temporary restoration of the entertainment business expense deduction and an extension of full expensing for business meals.

As for domestic leisure travel, U.S. Travel’s report found spending is projected to remain $46 billion below where the association estimated it would be before the pandemic.

International inbound travel is making strides toward recovery, aided by the recent repeal of the inbound pre-departure testing requirement. A full recovery to pre-pandemic levels—volume and spending—is not expected until 2025.

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide.

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