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U.S. Travel Association Sees Business Travel Dip

The latest edition of the U.S. Travel Association's Travel Trends Index shows that travel overall continues to grow, but domestic business travel has declined over the past year and is likely to continue to slow.

Travel trends in the business sector aren’t looking so hot these days, according to the latest edition of the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index.

The February edition of the report, released this week, found a year-over-year decline in domestic business travel, according to the Current Travel Index (CTI), a monthly measure of travel volume. A number above 50 indicates growth; below 50 means a decline. Business travel spent most of the past year below 50, landing at 48.7 in February. The companion Leading Travel Index (LTI), forecasting trends over the next three to six months, was at 49.7 for business travel in February, suggesting a continued slowdown.

“Business travel volumes in the U.S. will continue to falter into mid-2016, as business sentiment struggles to recover from recent oscillation in financial markets and general uncertainty,” the report stated.

On the other hand, leisure travel surged over the same period. The CTI for domestic leisure travel stood at a relatively robust 52.3 in February, with a six-month LTI of 52. Those numbers helped buoy the industry in general, with an overall CTI of 51.1 in February and an LTI of 51.2.

International numbers, while relatively flat compared with domestic leisure travel, also showed modest growth.

In a news release, USTA Senior Vice President for Research David Huether focused on the bright side of the equation.

“Even though domestic business travel declined and flagging advance airline bookings from abroad brought the LTI down slightly, these number should be measured against the healthy growth seen in previous months,” Huether said.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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