Travel shows signs of uptick, but COVID-19 and inflation concerns linger

The news: As the US Memorial Day weekend kicks off another busy summer season, travel and leisure companies are hoping to attract new customers.

  • United Airlines began its first major ad campaign in nearly a decade earlier this month.
  • In expectation of higher travel, hotels are adding extended-stay properties, work spaces, and social attractions.

Precarious promise of travel: Still, despite an increased desire to hit the road, there are significant headwinds that could delay the travel recovery. Consumers are wary of inflation and have concerns about COVID-19.

  • More than half of international travelers (54%) are hesitant to visit the US because of the country’s pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements, per US Travel Association.
  • Top areas of concern cited by US consumers about travel were health and safety (29%), costs of travel (25%), and gas prices (17%), per Redpoint Global.
  • 31% of UK online adults surveyed by YouGov in May 2022 indicated they are cutting back on day trips as a result of rising inflation. About the same percentage of Canadian respondents plan to curb international and domestic travel, per an April 2022 Ipsos poll.
  • Nonetheless, about six in 10 Americans plan to take at least one summer trip, and tourists are spending roughly 34% more than they did in 2019 at restaurants and concerts.

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