The U.S. Travel Assoc. recently released its full semi-annual forecast for travel through 2026—including travel spending and volume. The forecast projects all segments of travel, in spite of rising inflation, will surge in the short-term (this summer and into next year) due to pent-up demand and consumer savings. However, risks—including continued high inflation, labor constraints, supply chain issues and a possible recession—remain significant and have negatively influenced the forecast.
By the numbers: U.S. Travel estimates that $1.05 trillion (adjusted for inflation) will be spent on travel in the United States in 2022, but this is still 10% below 2019 levels and 16% below where it should have been in 2022 if not for the pandemic.
All sectors of the travel economy continue to recover unevenly.
International travel's full recovery to pre-pandemic levels (volume and spending) is not expected until 2025 and domestic business travel spending will not fully recover to pre-pandemic levels within the range of the forecast—with a full recovery not expected until 2026.
Why it matters: Prior to the pandemic, travel was one of our nation’s largest industry exports and a key economic contributor. A full rebound of the whole travel economy is necessary to ensure the U.S. is globally competitive.
What’s next: U.S. Travel will continue advocating for federal policies and engaging with government officials to accelerate the recovery of the entire travel industry. We must restore and grow our industry to full strength so that American workers and businesses in every state––and every community––can not only benefit but thrive.
For local travel statistics, click here.