Skift Take

Nearly 47 percent of Americans traveled in May 2022, 6 points higher than March, signaling a strong start as we get closer to the summer season. However, with the mounting anxiety about an economic downturn. the number of consumers who expect to cut down on travel spending rose sharply.

Skift Research’s newly released U.S. Travel Tracker: May Highlights survey report has some mixed news for the travel industry. In May, 47 percent of Americans traveled, a 4-percentage-point lift from the same time last year. In addition, 41 percent of U.S. consumers have already planned to travel and another 30 percent indicate they are likely to travel this summer, pointing to a very strong summer season for the U.S. travel industry. 

However, the possibility of an economic downturn seems more real than ever and is taking its toll on consumer confidence. Concerns about an economic crisis as well as personal financial situations reached the highest since March and April 2020 when the pandemic crippled the entire country. When asked specifically about their future travel plans, nearly 70 percent of surveyed Americans flagged travel prices this summer are higher than last summer and many worry that the price hike will last for a long time. Among those who noticed the higher prices, two-thirds of them said the rising prices have impacted their travel plans. Flight seems to be the most affected part, with 31 percent stating they will be using alternative transportation instead of flying.

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: May 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 March Travel Tracker survey.

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What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • Travel incidences, January 2020–May 2022
  • May 2022 travel highlights
  • Covid impacted travel, May 2020–May 2022
  • Changing consumer sentiments on the economic outlook, February 2020–June 2022
  • Consumer attitude on travel prices and its impact on their travel plans
  • Consumer intent for 2022 summer travel
  • Remote work trend and its impact on travel and mobility

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Tags: consumer behavior, consumer insights, consumer sentiment, consumer travel trends, skift research, Travel Trends

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