Double (Triple?) Booking
You can’t be in Oahu and Orlando at the same time. But, have you heard of “trip stacking”? You will. Travelers are hedging their bets, taking actions to ensure they go on vacation. The new trend is known as “trip stacking” and is reportedly driving up prices.
“Trip stacking” is when a traveler plans multiple trips over the same period of time in case one trip gets canceled due to the pandemic. The trend allows travelers to choose which trip they are more comfortable taking as the vacation date nears.
“…Unlike making three or four dinner reservations and then deciding hours before where you want to go based on appetite or convenience, trip stacking will cause prices on airlines and hotels to go up for everyone,” said Tim Hentschel, co-founder and CEO of travel technology company HotelPlanner, as quoted by CNBC. “Unlike restaurants, hotels and airlines yield their prices up as occupancy levels increase.”
Two separate studies reveal similar findings.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has released the results of a mid-August national survey on the current pandemic sentiment conducted by Morning Consult. Among business travelers, 67% indicated they are likely to take fewer trips and 68% plan to take shorter trips. Press release here.
Looking at the long-term, business travel budgets may be changed forever, indicates Bloomberg, citing a survey of 45 companies across the US, Europe and Asia. Eighty-four percent of respondents are planning to spend less on travel. These global companies are signaling that innovative new communications tools are making many pre-pandemic trips unnecessary.
“That’s a blow to the airline and hospitality industries — already among the biggest casualties of the pandemic. Business travelers, who buy premium-class or more-expensive refundable tickets, rang in as much as three-quarters of airlines’ pre-pandemic profits while accounting for only 12% of seats, according to PwC. The hotels sector, which draws about two-thirds of its revenue from business travelers, could see a dip of as much as 18% by 2022 as virtual meetings replace 27% of corporate travel volumes, a Morgan Stanley study shows.”
Conventions & Meetings
On the positive side, Destination Analysts‘ survey findings for the week of Sept. 6, 2021 indicates: “The appeal of out-of-state business trips and convention travel has improved among employed American travelers relative to early this year. Now 45.7% of employed American travelers says they would be happy to take an out-of-state business trip in the next six months, up from 39.5% the week of April 12th. Also on the rise since April is the appeal of attending in-person group meetings. Now 40.4% would be happy to do so, up from 37.9% the week of April 12th.
In fact, one-in-five employed American travelers now plans to attend a convention, conference or other group meeting sometime in the remainder of 2021, with October appearing to be the peak month for this trip type.” More here.
Airfares Fall This Fall
As the summer closes, airlines are facing a shortage of business travelers that would normally help fill the gap until the Thanksgiving or Christmas travel season. Airfares are estimated to drop 10% into September with the average round-trip flight costing $260 for domestic travel.
United Airlines showed just how low airfares can be with $113 roundtrip fares between New York City and Los Angeles from late September to November, quickly matched by JetBlue Airways. Source: Business Insider (via Travel Smart News)
Sweeter Than Maple Syrup
Think Vermont. The Green Mountain state’s Department of Economic Development is offering $7,500 as a relocation incentive to attract labor.
To be eligible for the grant, out-of-staters must have moved to Vermont on or after July 1, 2021 and become a full-time employee of a Vermont employer in a role that has been listed by the state’s Department of Labor as most in-demand. The list of 50 jobs includes anything from fast-food, restaurant, and retail workers to construction and farm workers. Workers must also earn a living wage or above, which is currently $13.39 an hour. Full requirements here.
On Route 66
In southwest Missouri, an investigation is underway into a possible misappropriation of funds by the Carthage Convention & Visitors Bureau. Meanwhile, the city has cancelled its CVB contracts—one at $60K for social media and public relations management and another $100K as the recipient of city lodging tax revenue. Executive Director Callie Myers and staffer Alex Hodkin have both been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation being led by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Sources: Joplin Globe and USAE News.
In North Carolina, Visit Elizabeth City has hired a consultant to conduct a diversity, equity and inclusion assessment to help with tourism marketing efforts in attracting more diverse visitors. The tourism development authority agreed last week to appoint Melissa Majors Consulting of Dallas, Texas to conduct the assessment.
Apple and the TSA are partnering to allow travelers to use digital versions of their ID to pass through airport security. Once states begin enabling access, iPhone or Apple Watch owners that updated to iOS 15 will be able to upload an electronic version of their state identification or driver’s license.
Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to introduce the innovation; Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah will follow. Adding a driver’s license or state ID to Apple Wallet is like adding a new credit card, meaning that users won’t need to unlock or hand over their device to show an ID. Source: Apple
Canada has opened its borders to allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals that meet its conditions to enter the country for non-essential purposes beginning Sept. 7, 2021. For individuals with proof of vaccination and the required recent negative test result, automatic quarantine will no longer be necessary. Travelers submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN app or website.
“This decision is based on the latest available data, scientific evidence and epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally,” officials said in a press release. Source: Canadian Travel News