AHLA: Gas prices, inflation to impact summer travel decisions

A survey also found the pandemic has instilled a greater appreciation for travel in most people

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Gas prices, inflation to impact summer travel
Gas prices and inflation will impact summer travel decisions more than COVID-19 concerns, according to a survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. The survey also found that the pandemic gave most people a renewed appreciation for travel.

U.S. TRAVELERS SAID that gas prices and inflation will impact their summer travel decisions more than COVID-19 concerns, according to a survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

The survey, conducted by Morning Consult and released just ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend ending May 30, revealed that more than half of the respondents, 57 percent, are likely to take fewer leisure trips and 54 percent will take shorter trips due to current gas prices.

The majority of people surveyed, 82 percent, said that gas prices will have at least some impact on their travel destinations.

The Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer travel season. This year, AAA Travel forecast 39.2 million people would travel during the weekend, most by car.

The AHLA survey of 2,210 adults conducted between May 18 to 22 found out that 44 percent of the respondents are likely to postpone trips, and 33 percent are likely to cancel with no plans to reschedule. Nearly seven in 10 Americans, or 69 percent of survey respondents, are likely to travel this summer. Also, 60 percent of the respondents are likely to take more vacations this year compared to 2020-21.

“The pandemic has instilled in most people a greater appreciation for travel, and that’s reflected in the plans Americans are making to get out and about this summer. But just as COVID’s negative impact on travel is starting to wane, a new set of challenges is emerging in the form of historic inflation and record high gas prices,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “We will be keeping a close eye on these issues and urging Congress and the administration to do the same in order to help ensure they don’t negatively impact hotels’ continued pandemic recovery.”

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • 68 percent of Americans agree they have a greater appreciation for travel
  • 57 percent are planning a family vacation this summer
  • 46 percent are likely to travel overnight for a family event
  • 25 percent are likely to travel for Memorial Day, 32 percent for 4 July and 27 percent for Labor Day
  • 60 percent are likely to attend more indoor gatherings, 57 percent are likely to take longer vacations and 56 percent are likely to take trips to farther-away destinations
  • 90 percent say gas prices and inflation are a consideration in deciding whether to travel in the next three months
  • 78 percent of Americans say that COVID-19 infection rates are a consideration in deciding whether to travel this summer