Lower Gas Prices Means Higher Travel
The decline of gas prices over the last month has more travelers getting back on the road, that according to a new Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers.
"Falling gas prices is an automatic plus for the travel industry," said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. "And if fuel costs continue to decline as expected, more Americans will have more money in their pockets and will be hitting the road."
31% of travelers said gas prices would greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months, which is still a sizeable percentage. However, that number is down from 43% just one month prior, indicating a strong bounce back for the rest of the summer and into the fall.
That's not to say gas prices aren't impacting travel plans at all. Fuel costs have 34% of travelers choosing destinations closer to home, 32% reducing the number of trips they're taking, 31% reducing the amount they spend on retail purchases, and 18% reducing their spending on lodging.
The study found that 25% of those surveyed had a trip planned within the next month, 24% had a trip planned in the next one to two months, 22% in the next three to five months, and 16% in six or more months—all in contrast with the only 14% who currently don't have any trips on their radar at the moment.
When it comes to concerns related to COVID-19, only 19% indicated the virus would greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months—down from 32% at the start of 2022. Overall, because of the pandemic, the majority of travelers are still choosing their destinations based on the ability to drive there (23%), while 22% are focusing on destinations within the U.S. Only 6% of travelers are choosing not to travel at all, and 5% are cancelling trips.
It's no secret the industry has been struggling since the pandemic's onset with staffing and cutbacks, but there are some positive signs found in Longwoods' new research. In what may come as a positive sign in the travel industry's journey to recovery, the majority of travelers (56%) say the level of service they received from travel and hospitality businesses during their most recent trip (that took place within the last three months) was the same as before the pandemic.
To see the study in its entirety, visit Longwoods International.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.