The New Normal Is Uncertainty
Without question, the hard-hit travel sector is contributing mightily to our inflation woes. This winter, industry experts are keeping a wary eye on road trips fueled by costly gas and room rates, two pricey items that are among the highest risers.
“Hotel rates were up nearly 3 percent from October and soared 25.5 percent from November 2020. The lodging sector was among the highest risers, which also included gasoline prices that were up 58.1 percent year-on-year, and rental cars at 37 percent.” — Skift
American Traveler Sentiment
Findings from surveys taken during the second week of December 2021
While 76.0% of American travelers remain in a ready-to-travel state of mind, this is down from 82.0% on October 15 when this metric recovered from the Delta variant. In fact, well over half of American travelers say the recent news about the Omicron variant make them less interested in traveling right now.
High excitement levels about a potential getaway in the next month has declined 3 percentage points in the last two weeks to 65.7%. Similarly, those highly excited as they look out over their leisure travel in the next year has fallen 4.1 percentage points to 67.2%. Openness to travel inspiration is at 59.7%, falling from 64.0% November 26.”
“Concerns about the spread of both the Delta and Omicron variants is setting off alarm bells for the travel industry,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “Some travelers are hesitant regarding trip planning as they wait for updated information on the state of the pandemic and the effectiveness of vaccines, boosters, and treatments for new strains like Omicron.”
- 27% or one quarter of American travelers report postponing some of their trips right now due to Omicron variant
- A 5% spike in those American travelers reporting Covid would greatly impact their travels
- Financial concerns have inched up 5% in two months
- Those changing travel plans due to the pandemic is up 5% in two months
- On the bright side, only 10% of American travelers say they are canceling trips
- 68% of holiday season travelers plan to visit friends and relatives, while 60% plan to go shopping
- 35% of American travelers have remote work plans within the next 12-24 months. In May, this figure was 29%