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The US travel industry is optimistic as Americans are planning their winter trips: NPR

Riding riders will take a trail ride on August 13 near June Lake, California.

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Riding riders will take a trail ride on August 13 near June Lake, California.

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After a surge in coronavirus cases in the spring and a surge in long-awaited cruise trips to Montreal, Nate Bruglevsky and his extended family really wanted to get together this summer, staying safe. ..

The trip had to meet several requirements: a destination not far from older relatives in the Midwest, strict local coronavirus safety measures, and provided a lot of outdoor activities. Bruglevsky and his wife live in northern New York, but other relatives are scattered throughout the country.

“Everyone was vaccinated and vaccinated as soon as possible. With the Delta variant, we still decided to be very cautious. We did self-quarantine and everything was tested a week ago,” he said. increase.

They eventually met in India and rented a villa and spent a lot of time outside.

“It all worked,” he says.

After losing a major trip in 2020 due to a pandemic, many Americans have made similar decisions to make up for the lost time.

Larry You, a professor of hospitality management at George Washington University, said:

The kayak will glide along Silver Lake on August 13 near June Lake, California.

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The kayak will glide along Silver Lake on August 13 near June Lake, California.

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This strong desire for travel has set new trends in the industry. Some of them may stay here. Like the Burglevsky family, people are flocking to outdoor activities, rural areas and private vacation rentals, with less interest in hotels and international and urban destinations.

And early evidence shows that Americans plan to continue traveling from now until the end of the year, despite delta mutations and still high cases of infection in the United States.

Jan Freitag, Director of US Hospitality Analysis at CoStar Group, said:

The industry is showing signs of recovery after a significant decline

This is a big change from the early months of the pandemic, which hit the industry hard.

In the United States, travel spending plummeted by about $ 500 billion. American Travel Association.. Thousands of jobs lost: 65% of all US jobs lost in 2020 It was supported by the trip.

Indeed, pandemic uncertainty still causes whiplash in businesses.Just last month, Southwest Airlines and other companies reported they would. Pull back This autumn.

Still, the US travel sector is recovering from a pandemic downturn, companies and experts say. The Travel Association reports that travel spending has returned to 2019 levels. Hotel occupancy this summer has recovered to just below pre-pandemic numbers, according to STR, which provides data and research on the global hospitality industry.

Airline bookings are approaching pre-pandemic levels, at least domestically.

Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said the deployment of vaccination made a big difference.

Travel agencies “experience a travel boom all year round,” she says. “The increase in domestic travel is tremendous.”

Americans are traveling in a way shaped by a pandemic

Burglewski’s family trip in Nashville, Indiana reflects many new realities. Most families wore masks indoors and stayed outdoors as much as possible. They hiked and played four squares at a nearby playground.

They chose rental housing with a gathering porch over large hotels.

“We feel like we have more control over the environment,” says Burglewski.

“Some of my family still really want to cruise, but others have said they never find it comfortable to do that,” he says.

Nathan Burglewski and members of his extended family used a playground near the rental housing during a family trip to India this summer.

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Nathan Burglewski and members of his extended family used a playground near the rental housing during a family trip to India this summer.

Nate Bruglevsky

Other Americans made similar choices during the summer and in record numbers.

“Vrbo has had the best year ever,” says Melanie Fish, a spokeswoman for the company. She says it makes a lot of sense because the demand for US villas was high during the pandemic.

The family also stayed for a long time. For example, on Airbnb, more and more families are renting properties for three and four days on weekends. Too many companies delay returning to the office Announce flexible weekly work..

Nathan Burglewski and his extended family take advantage of outdoor activities during a family trip to India this summer.

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Nathan Burglewski

Travelers chose mountains over skyscrapers

The places where travelers go are also changing. According to Professor Yu of George Washington University, coastal areas are popular and more and more people are taking advantage of kayaking, boating and canoeing activities. And also a small town. for example, 42% of nights booked with family This summer, Airbnb is a rural destination, up from 32% two years ago.

“We’ve seen significant growth in these areas,” says Christopher Narti, Airbnb’s director of public relations. Early in the pandemic, he said, “People were forced to travel to remote destinations by car, and they were able to find great places just apart from gas tanks.” ..

Vrbo has experienced similar demand for more local travel. Travel under 250 miles in July and August increased by more than 20% compared to the same period in 2019. According to the latest data of the company..

The importance of nature and outdoor activities is reflected in the popularity of national parks in the United States. The National Park Service experienced a healthy recovery throughout the system in 2021 since seeing a significant reduction in visitors in the early days of the pandemic.

For example, Yellowstone National Park had 921,844 visitors in August 2021, the most visited August on record, 12% higher than the pre-pandemic total for the same month. According to NPS..

Experts predict busy autumn and winter

Coronavirus cases have declined and some foreign countries have reopened, but US travelers are cautious and are currently near their homes.

“Delta variants continue to put a small damper on corporate demand, but American consumers are seemingly uneasy,” says Freitag of CoStar Group. “And as Delta’s cases diminish, we expect leisure demand to continue.”

Over 50% of American adults plan to take a domestic vacation by the end of 2022. According to AAA.

The company’s spokeswoman, Nancy Lien, said Vrbo’s outlook for the fall and winter was also good, with housing demand in December “increasing” compared to the previous year.

“Demand for holiday reservations has begun to grow As early as July“In warm destinations like the Florida Keys and Naples, Florida, there are less than 30% of Vrbo’s homes left for Christmas week,” she says.

US ski destinations are also a top choice. Vrbo reports that demand for popular ski spots in and around Breckenridge, Colorado has increased by more than 40% compared to the same period in 2019.

Among the people who contribute to the continuous surge in travel are Burglewski and his wife.

“We are making up for the lost time and going on a postponed trip,” he says.

For Christmas, they will fly to Florida for a 10-day stay. In the New Year, the couple will visit Yellowstone for a late trip to their anniversary.

The US travel industry is optimistic as Americans are planning their winter trips: NPR

Source link The US travel industry is optimistic as Americans are planning their winter trips: NPR

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