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Good morning from Skift. It's Tuesday, April 23, in New York City. Here's what you need to know about the business of travel today.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast discusses a new survey that suggests summer vacations in the United States will change due to inflation, why Thailand is changing its Covid testing rules to accommodate one of its largest markets, and why Chinese carriers are still cautious about recovery.


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Episode Notes

Travelers in the U.S. are expected to hit the road in large numbers this summer despite rising fuel prices making plane tickets and road trips more expensive. But is inflation causing them to alter their travel plans? It is, as a new survey reveals, showing that close to 70 percent of U.S. adults are modifying their summer vacations due to inflation, reports Contributor Mary Ann Ha.

The survey by consumer financial services company Bankrate revealed that the two biggest changes by travelers were taking fewer trips and traveling to closer locations. Each outcome garnered exactly 25 percent of responses. In addition, close to the same percentage of respondents said they’d be seeking cheaper activities or selecting less expensive accommodations or destinations.

Next, Thailand has been taking a cautious approach in its tourism recovery as it requires inbound tourists to satisfy a plethora of conditions before permitting them to enter. But the country will drop its Covid testing requirement, just as it begins a special campaign to woo visitors from India, one of its biggest source markets for tourists, writes Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

Thailand will lift its “Test and Go” requirement for vaccinated travelers from May 1. The plan requires visitors to the kingdom to get tested on the first and fifth days of their stay in the country. But international travelers still must register for an online Thailand Pass and have medical insurance covering health costs over $10,000, both of which — in addition to the mandatory testing — Thai tourism executives had been calling for the government to scrap.

Gary Bowerman, the director of travel intelligence and research firm Check-in Asia, said all Southeast Asian countries will heavily target visitors from India, which resumed international flights in late March, as Chinese travelers are still largely prohibited from leaving their country. Almost 2 million Indian tourists visited Thailand in 2019, generating roughly $2.5 billion in revenue for the kingdom.

We end today with China. Two of its largest airlines — Air China and China Southern Airlines — made scant mention of international flying in their recently released 2022 outlooks as the country maintains its strict travel restrictions, writes Airlines Reporter Edward Russell.

The two carriers detailed their plans for domestic growth this year in the newly released 2021 annual reports. As international flights have represented a miniscule part of their business since the start of the pandemic, Air China and China Southern largely brushed aside the issue of relaunching their international route maps. Air China carried just 2 percent of its 2019 international flight traffic last year while China Southern only hit 5 percent.

Russell writes that commentary from the two state-owned Chinese airlines is in line with government policy. The Civil Aviation Administration of China unveiled a plan in January focused on containing Covid and creating domestic growth through 2022 as international air travel is projected to resume next year.

Tags: china, coronavirus recovery, india, skift podcast, thailand, usa