Travelers are worried about rising costs, but most aren’t canceling their plans just yet

Summer travel talks are definitely not what they used to be.

Instead of sun, sand and surf, many travel discussions are now based on inflation, rising fuel costs and . are focused on flight canceledA situation that could be a must for a return to the summer of 2022.

According to social media analytics company Sprout Social, travel conversations on Twitter dropped 75% from April to May, while gas prices and travel-related discussions – half of which were negative – climbed 680% on the website from the winter months to spring. Went. ,

Industry insiders said the outlook for summer travel remains strong, despite potential problems to come, with many travelers saying they are worried but apathetic about their upcoming plans.

Are travelers canceling plans?

No, said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, a Melbourne-based travel company that focuses on small-group adventure vacations around the world.

He added that the company hasn’t seen high cancellation rates this summer.

“Over the past few months, global concerns about shortages, sanctions and high costs have sounded the alarm to economists,” Thornton said. “Despite the rise in costs, travel bookings have more than doubled.”

David Mann, chief economist at the Mastercard Economics Institute, said higher prices will not deter travelers this summer, especially in parts of the world that have recently reopened, such as the Asia-Pacific.

“Think of it literally like a pressure cooker where you’re lifting the lid and the steam is heating up,” He told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” in May., Inflation is “significant, but that’s only after we’ve released some of that demand.”

For example, a new survey indicates that Singaporeans are unwilling to sacrifice their summer travel plans due to rising costs. According to the TripAdvisor Travel Index released in May, 77% indicated they were either “extremely” or “very” concerned about rising costs, with nearly 40% more people planning to travel this summer.

Nearly two in three Singaporeans said they are willing to spend even less on food and clothing for their travels.

Conversely, travel flexibility may be less strong in places where some demand has slowed, such as Europe and North America.

According to a March survey published in the Country Financial Security Index report, nearly a quarter (23%) of Americans indicated plans To cancel or discontinue travel plans in response to inflation,

Still, Americans are expected to travel in great numbers this summer. more than half (55%) According to a survey by travel website The Vacationer, they say they are traveling for a Fourth of July holiday — an 8% increase from last year’s survey, the company said.

change, not cancellation

“More people are pushing their plans to accommodate price increases and additional costs rather than canceling [travel] said Eric Bamberger, senior vice president of hospitality at marketing technology company Zeta Global.

According to a representative for the Zeta Global company, demand for “pampering” travel such as spas is on the rise, while interest in “educational” travel to museums and national parks has dropped by more than 50%.

According to Zeta Global, car rentals are declining in the United States with the fastest decline in rental rates in places like California, Oregon and Washington.

However, “the hotel is on fire,” Bamberger said. “Some hotels in Las Vegas have 95% occupancy rates, and this past Memorial Day was the best ever recorded day – revenue-wise – for many of the top hotel chains in America”

‘Still going on tour’

“We all know that there was a lot of savings and less spending during Covid on services and travel,” he said. “So far it seems that people are interested in spending – and if anything, spending more.”

when asked about Reporting that people are opting for cheaper vacations, he said: “We haven’t done that yet … especially in the middle and upper end of the market.”

Kern said that if inflation begins to affect travelers, he agrees he will change his plans, but will not end it.

“If anything, maybe travelers are a little off their ambition – where they were going or what they were staying in – but they are still going to travel,” he said.

‘Gangbusters’ summer

Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano said the company, which operates in about 140 countries according to its website, is now seeing strong demand not only from leisure travelers, but also from group and business travelers.

“We think the summer is going to be gangbusters,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” in May. “We feel great about this summer.”

After two consecutive months of negative demand, business travel interest in the United States increased by 365% in May, according to Zeta Global, which measures location and transactions from credit card and loyalty program purchases as well as use of the website. Tracks related data.

According to Zeta Global, business travel is growing faster among younger travelers than among older, senior-level travelers.

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International travel interest from Americans also rose in May, it said, adding that interest in visiting Asia, Europe and South America was up more than 200% from the prior month, according to the company.

was before Biden administration drops pre-departure Covid test requirements to enter the United States, a move that is expected to kickstart travel in and out of the US

“Removing the test requirement eliminates a source of stress for travelers, which can hold them back,” said Expedia Group’s head of global PR Melanie Fish. “We expect the demand to only increase from here.,