More than two years into the pandemic, Americans have reported that gas prices and inflation will impact their summer travel decisions more than concerns about COVID-19, according to a new survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) said they are likely to travel this summer, with 60% of respondents more likely to take more vacations this year compared to 2020-21.
However, new concerns about gas prices and inflation are impacting Americans’ travel plans. More than half of respondents said they are likely to take fewer leisure trips (57%) and shorter trips (54%) due to current gas prices, while 44% are likely to postpone trips. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they are likely to cancel with no plans to reschedule, and 82% of surveyors said gas prices will have at least some impact on their travel destinations.
The survey of 2,210 adults was conducted May 18-22, 2022. Other key findings include:
- 90% said gas prices are a consideration in deciding whether to travel in the next three months (50%: major consideration, 23%: moderate consideration, 17%: slight consideration, 10%: not a consideration).
- 90% said inflation is a consideration in deciding whether to travel in the next three months (39%: major consideration, 31%: moderate consideration, 20%: slight consideration, 10%: not a consideration).
- 78% said that COVID-19 infection rates are a consideration in deciding whether to travel this summer (33%: major consideration, 23%: moderate consideration, 22%: slight consideration, 22%: not a consideration).
- 25% said they are likely to travel for Memorial Day; 32% for 4th of July; and 27% for Labor Day.
- 68% said they have a greater appreciation for travel because of missed experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “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. 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.”