Skift Take

In January, 40 percent of Americans traveled, only 5 percentage points lower than January 2020, before the pandemic hit. While we expect to see even more normalcy in travel as we move closer to another travel season, where the economy is heading could have an impact, as more than half of Americans now believe the U.S. economy will get worse in the next 12 months.

January is normally a slow season for the U.S. travel industry. According to Skift Research’s newly released U.S. Travel Tracker: January 2022 Highlights report, 40 percent of Americans traveled in January 2022. While this is a decline from the 45 percent rate in December, it’s only 5 percentage points lower than January 2020, before the pandemic hit.

Now that Omicron is in retreat and most U.S. states have ended or are planning to end mask mandates following the federal guidelines, we are expecting even more normalcy in the coming months.

One trend we saw in our January survey is the continued increase in vacation rental and all-inclusive resort stays. The strength of vacation rentals is consistent with the January data from our newly rebranded and relaunched Skift Travel Health Index — previously known as Skift Recovery Index. Similarly, in our recently published 2022 Travelers: A Multi-Country Survey Report, we found that Covid exhaustion will likely drive more people to places where they can relax or enjoy nature. Vacation rentals and resorts might continue to rise in popularity, at least in the near future.

Skift Research introduced a monthly U.S. travel tracking survey in January 2020 to examine the travel penetration rates and detailed travel behavior of the U.S. population. In addition to the factual travel occurrences, we also asked respondents their perceptions on the macro-level economic condition as well their personal financial and travel outlook. We switched the survey to every other month in 2021. As we move through different phases of Covid-19, our tracking survey captures the fluctuations of consumer travel behavior and intent in real time.

In our newly released U.S. Travel Tracker: January 2022 Highlights report, we highlight new and ongoing trends in travel incidences, consumer sentiments and future travel intents in the pandemic world, distilled from our January Travel Tracker survey.

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What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • Travel incidences, January 2020–January 2022
  • January 2022 travel highlights
  • Covid impacted travel, January 2021–January 2022
  • Changing consumer sentiments on the economic outlook, February 2020–February 2022
  • Consumer intent for 2022 travel
  • Remote work trend and its impact on travel and mobility
  • Covid vaccine rate and its impact on travel

This is the latest in a series of reports and data products that Skift Research puts out to help you analyze the impact of the coronavirus on the travel industry. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

After you subscribe, you will gain access to our entire vault of reports conducted on topics ranging from technology to marketing strategy to deep dives on key travel brands. You will also be able to access our proprietary Skift Recovery Index and Skift Health Score data and reports.

Tags: consumer behavior, consumer sentiment, consumer travel trends, covid-19, skift research, Travel Trends, traveltracker