Good News, Bad News


In this week’s Travel Courier, Mike Dunbar reports that it appears that the wheels have fallen off a five-year travel surge to the United States, with early year statistics showing cross-border overnight demand dropped 3% in February, following a 0.3% decline a month earlier.

But there’s still good news for the travel trade in the latest crop of numbers released by the US Department of Commerce. The air travel segment, which accounts for one-third of all arrivals, continues to hold up, posting a gain of almost 2% in the first two months of 2014.

In his analysis of the figures, economist and Canadian market specialist Mark Brown explained, “Year-over-year visitor volume growth has occurred for nearly every month over the past five years.”

But he added, “However, three-fourths of this growth was from the small, one-night only auto segment which began growing 50% or more each month beginning June 2012 and coinciding with the increase in the duty-free exemption.”

Brown noted, “2013 volume growth was 3% but, without the fantastic growth from this small, one-night-only segment, travel to the US would have been up only 0.9%.”

For the full story in this week’s Travel Courier, click here.