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Travel Trade Barometers Forecast U.S. Inbound

March 9, 2012

Working with NTA and the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, Travel Market Insights conducts the Travel Trade Barometer programs. Through surveys with outbound tour operators in selected countries, TMI forecasts travel into the United States.

The latest barometers, based on operator feedback during December, project trends—along with motivators and deterrents—for travel to the Unites States.


  • 2012 bookings were projected to remain strong by nearly all of the Canadian trade respondents.
  • Top motivators: accommodation rates and promotion by U.S. businesses and destinations.
  • Entry and exit concerns were rated as not having an impact.
  • Top deterrents: the global economy, the Canadian economy, and the price of airfare.


  • Bookings in the first quarter 2012 were up four to nine percent over first quarter 2011 bookings.
  • Top motivators: Accommodation rates, the economy in Mexico, promotion by U.S. destinations and businesses, travel safety and the global economy.
  • Top deterrents: Airfare, the exchange rate and air capacity.

United Kingdom

  • First quarter 2012 bookings were down four to nine percent compared to first quarter 2011.
  • Top deterrents: global economy, along with higher airfare, reduced air capacity and the exchange rate-plus the perceived lack of a U.S. "welcome mat."
  • The strongest recommendation for the U.S. to regain its competitive edge was "value:" competitive pricing, especially for the family market.


  • First quarter 2012 bookings were up four to nine percent compared to first quarter 2011.
  • Top motivators: promotion by U.S. destinations and businesses and the exchange rate (despite the U.S. dollar getting stronger).
  • Top deterrents: promotion by other long-haul destinations, the global economy, airfare and a host of entry policy issues.


  • Most of the Chinese travel trade projected first and second quarter 2012 bookings to increase. None reported declining bookings.
  • They projected fully organized tours with an escort to register the strongest growth in the first half of 2012.
  • Top motivator: direct air service to desired destinations.
  • Top deterrent: natural disasters in the United States.


  • Only 22 percent of the trade projected an increase in bookings.
  • Top motivators: the exchange rate, promotion by U.S. destinations and businesses, and deregulation of charter flights.
  • Top deterrents: airfare/fuel surcharges; the economy in Japan; and the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima disaster.

The Office of Travel & Tourism Industries has more information. And even more detailed results of the Travel Trade Barometer surveys are available through subscription. For more information, e-mail Scott Johnson at Travel Market Insights or call +1.518-668-2559.

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