American Travel Sentiment Study - Wave 57
Rising Gas Prices Replacing COVID-19 as Travel Worry

Rising Gas Prices Replacing COVID-19 as Travel Worry

According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, at a time when the impact of the pandemic on travel planning is steadily declining, a new worry for the travel industry has emerged – spiking gas prices.   About six in ten travelers indicate rising gas prices will impact their travel plans during the next six months. In fact, three in ten travelers say this will greatly impact their upcoming travel.  In contrast, only two in ten travelers say that COVID-19 will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months, down more than ten points from the start of the year.

“The travel recovery we all have hoped for this year faces a new challenge – the quickly rising cost of both gasoline and jet fuel,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International.  “After two long years of pandemic isolation and restrictions, the last thing consumers need is this oil-price shock. This increased expense might not only limit the number of trips travelers take, but also lead to selecting destinations closer to home or reducing their spending on items like meals, accommodations, and souvenirs as they travel.”

Travelers have been planning to resume participating in in-person events, such as meetings, conferences and festivals, in the next three to four months.   About two thirds of travelers are planning to attend such events in the upcoming months. COVID-19 concerns play a minimal role in influencing these decisions, with less than one in ten citing concerns about COVID-19 keeping them from such events.

The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded March 2, 2022 using a national sample randomly drawn from a consumer panel of 1,000 adults, ages 18 and over.  Quotas were used to match Census targets for age, gender, and region to make the survey representative of the U. S. population.

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