Price of Gas, Plane Tickets Impacting Travel More Than COVID-19

According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travellers, the rising cost of gas and plane tickets has replaced the pandemic as a major concern entering the summer travel season.

While a third of travellers indicated gas prices will greatly impact their travel decisions in the next six months and a quarter said the price of flights will have a similar impact, only 19% said the pandemic will greatly influence their travel during the same period.

Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International, said that: “Inflation, high gas prices, and generally rising costs are front of mind for travellers this summer season. However, competing with these concerns is the strong pent-up demand for post-pandemic travel, so the impact of prices may be somewhat muted by that surge in demand.”

Nine in ten travellers have trips planned in the next six months, on par with levels of trip planning before coronavirus arrived in the U.S.

The 19% that indicated COVID-19 will greatly impact their travel plans in the next six months is at the lowest level since March 2020.

Other key findings include:

  • A record low 19% of American travellers now say that fear of COVID-19 will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months!
  • 27% of American Travellers say the rising cost of air travel will greatly impact their decision to travel in next six months.
  • Those indicating rising gas prices will greatly impact their decision to travel is down 5 points in the past month to 32%, perhaps suggesting that some are getting used to the higher prices.
  • Likewise, those indicating it will impact or greatly impact down 4 points  to 59% from 63%. But these are still very high numbers representing almost two-thirds of travellers.
  • Staying closer to home, reducing the number of trips, and reallocating spend on retail, food, and accommodations, etc. are still leading the ways folks are changing travel plans due to inflation.
  • A positive indicator here is that only 6% of American travellers indicate they are cancelling trips due to rising gas prices.
  • Lending credence to the expectations for a strong summer travel season is that pent-up demand remains high at 89% of American travellers with plans to go in next six months. In fact, 51% say they are slated to travel in the next 60-90 days.
  • An additional Silver Lining:  18% of American travellers say rising gas prices are not impacting their travel plans, and 39% say the pandemic has no influence on their travel plans at this point.

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