U.S. Travel Outlook is a monthly newsletter of the U.S. Travel Association. Visit http://www.ustravel.org/news/us-travel-newsletters/travel-outlook
March 2013

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EXAMINING CURRENT INDUSTRY TRENDS

Current State of the Economy The economy is coming off its weakest quarter of growth in nearly two years, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Labor The U.S. economy added 236,000 jobs in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, significantly exceeding expectations.

Consumer Confidence and Spending Most measures of consumer confidence continue to improve. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in January, rebounded in February.

Leisure Travel Americans' attitudes toward travel have also improved. According to the latest MMGY Global travelhorizons™ survey, the Traveler Sentiment Index (TSI) is now more positive than the benchmark score recorded just prior to the Great Recession.

Business Travel According to the February 2013 edition of the MMBY Global travelhorizons™ survey, business travel intentions jumped five points over the prior February, with fully 20 percent of all respondents intending to take at least one overnight business trip during the next six months.

Meetings The long-awaited meetings industry recovery is finally underway, shifting the negotiating advantage away from planners to hotels, according to a new study from Colliers PKF Hospitality Research.

Air Travel Global air travel demand rose 3.7 percent in January from a year earlier and may pick up pace in 2013, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Lodging Industry The U.S. hotel industry expects to see favorable results in 2013, according to the most recent forecast from Smith Travel Research (STR), in partnership with Tourism Economics.

International Travel International tourist arrivals grew by 4.0 percent in 2012 to reach 1.035 billion, surpassing the 1.0 billion mark for the first time, according to the UNWTO.

Exports According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. trade deficit widened in January. Nevertheless, the travel industry generated a trade surplus of $4.6 billion in January, which was up 39 percent from a year earlier.

Policy The U.S. Travel Association has launched the 2013 Travel Blitz, which seeks to build long-term relationships with Members of Congress and their staff on key issues facing the industry in the years ahead.

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