U.S. residents traveling abroad tend to stay within familiar brands, meaning that a company such as Marriott that has locations in both Chicago and Paris would likely benefit, JMP Securities’ Robert LaFleur said.
However, he said that since international travel requires a certain income level, a 25 to 35 percent rise in the dollar would be a greater impetus for increased travel overseas.
To be sure, a stronger U.S. dollar also has the reverse effect of making travel into the United States more expensive for foreign visitors.
A strong dollar alone is not reason enough to buy the stocks, but a relatively stronger U.S. economy and a boost to consumers from low gas prices all solidify the investment thesis, analysts said.
The U.S. dollar has risen more than 10 percent in the last year to a nine-year high and will likely rise further given the strength of the U.S. economy relative to global weakness. The international decline has also lowered accommodation and travel fees abroad, said IHS U.S. economist Chris Christopher.
He pointed out that weakening economies in traditionally popular destinations such as Spain, Italy and Greece have resulted in travel deals for U.S. tourists already benefiting from a better exchange rate.
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“The momentum is on the U.S. side for travel aboard,” Christopher said, highlighting Latin America and Asia as other growing destinations for American tourists.