Here’s a sampling of November 2016’s most compelling findings from the U.S. Travel research team.
Each month, the U.S. Travel Association sends its members the U.S. Travel Outlook, which provides insight into the current state of the economy and related travel industry trends, plus other relevant data and information on the travel and tourism sector.
What to Expect This Thanksgiving Travel Season
Airlines for America (A4A) has projected that 27.3 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday period (November 18-November 29). That’s an increase of 2.5 percent, or an additional 55,000 passengers per day over last year’s estimate.
Meanwhile, on the ground, rail ridership is up—Amtrak reported a record number of passengers this fiscal year. Additionally, AAA forecasts that about 43.5 million Americans will take long car trips from November 23-27, a 1.9 percent increase from last year.
Winter Is Coming—Where in the U.S. Do Americans Want to Travel?
As the winter months approach, the share of forward-looking online lodging searches in the U.S. to the Southeast region (which includes Florida) has increased to 35 percent, according to the latest U.S. Travel Barometer. According to this data, the greatest number of searches to the Southeast came from New York, Florida, California, Texas and Pennsylvania.
However, travel intentions to the Southwest (which includes New Mexico and Arizona) declined somewhat—in October 2016, the region only received 11 percent of domestic searches. The Far West region (which contains California, Alaska and Hawaii) remained the second most searched region, capturing 21 percent of all domestic searches.
Will International Travelers Become Less Enthusiastic About the U.S.?
According to the latest U.S. Travel Barometer, the U.S. share of international searches in October remained strong but declined somewhat. While the U.S. remained the top-searched travel destination internationally, capturing 14.3 percent of international lodging searches, travel intentions to the UK, France and Italy increased, diminishing the U.S.’s share. The Southeast and the Mideast (which includes New York and Washington, D.C.) remained the top two most-searched regions, capturing 31 and 30 percent of international searches, respectively.
These numbers reflect travel searches made before the November presidential election outcome, and there may be further tapering ahead due to a variety of factors. The U.S. dollar hit its highest value in seven months in October, while the euro is at a seven-month low against the dollar. The dollar may strengthen further if U.S. interest rates are increased in December. While we cannot predict what will happen in the months ahead, U.S. Travel’s latest Travel Trends Index previously forecast that international travel will decelerate as 2016 wraps up, so some slowdown was already to be expected.
A deeper dive into the data available in the November 2016 U.S. Travel Outlook—which includes the latest data releases on travel employment, transportation, lodging metrics and more—is online here.
U.S. Travel Association members receive the full U.S. Travel Outlook, plus a myriad of other cutting-edge research reports with information relevant to the travel industry. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a member here—or simply continue to enjoy a small taste of U.S. Travel’s research insight each month here, with the Research Round-Up.