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As Americans prepare for the Thanksgiving and winter holiday travel periods, there are persistent concerns from travel advisors and their clients about the impact of inflation on the tourism industry.
According to a survey from Bankrate, 79 percent of adults in the United States planning to travel this holiday season are changing their plans due to inflation and rising prices. Another 32 percent of respondents said their holiday travel plans would strain their budgets.
“The hype around inflation affecting holiday travel is a growing concern among travel agents but is not negatively impacting new bookings,” David Hartman of Fantastic Endeavors said. “Several clients mentioned inflation concerns but committed to holiday vacations despite those concerns. Offering a diverse choice of destinations is important to maintaining client holiday reservations.”
Of the Americans planning overnight trips between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, 26 percent said they would travel for fewer days, 25 percent would engage in cheaper activities, 24 percent would take fewer trips, 23 percent would travel shorter distances and 23 percent would drive instead of flying.
“I have seen a huge change in rising costs of how inflation has impacted travel,” Sara Jane Stroupe of Cupcake Castles Travel said. “I recently had some cancellations on group travel due to high prices of airfare due to inflation as well as increasing fuel costs. I have seen huge cancellations right after drops in the stock market.”
NerdWallet’s Holiday Travel Report also found that 37 percent of holiday travelers are concerned with how much more it will cost them for holiday travel this year due to inflation.
“I am seeing family travel being affected most by inflation this holiday season,” Jetset World Travel’s Sarah Sullivan said. “Families are looking domestically instead of abroad as they cannot simply afford current airfare prices for multiple tickets.”
Americans traveling for the holiday plan to spend an average of $1,582 on flights and hotels, with 91 percent of holiday travelers taking action to save money on travel expenses. Another 29 percent said they would drive instead of flying this year due to airline issues.
“The rising cost of airfare is definitely putting a damper on travel,” Scott Lara of TheCruiseGenius.com said. “I’ve found that some of my clients prefer driving to nearby cruise ports, yet a few still are willing to pay the higher airfare to go to all-inclusive resorts.”
People have a right to be concerned about rising costs, as data from the U.S. government showed that airfares climbed over 40 percent in September compared to the same month in 2021, the fastest rate on record.
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