Gas Prices Driving Travellers To Plan Fewer Trips

According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travellers, 44% of them say they are reducing the number of trips they are taking because of record-high prices at the pump, up from 36% in May.

A similar percentage are also shifting to destinations closer to home as another way to cope with high gas prices. Only 12% of those surveyed said that rising gas prices are not impacting their travel plans.

Amir Eylon, president and CEO of Longwoods International, said that: “Fuel costs continue to be a drag on the travel industry recovery. And travellers report they also are spending less on retail purchases, entertainment and recreation, and food and beverage.”

The percentage of travellers who said that concerns about their personal financial situation will greatly impact their travel decisions in the next six months jumped to 31% in the latest survey, up from 25% in June. And despite the recent surge in cases nationally, only 19% of travellers say that COVID-19 will greatly impact their travel plans in the next six months.

Highlights of the tracking study include:

  • While demand is still at a survey high 92% of American travellers indicating plans to go somewhere in the next six months.
  • A record 31% of American travellers indicate that concerns about their personal financial situation will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months (Up six points from 25% in just one month).
  • A survey record 70% of American travellers now say rising gas prices will either impact or greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months, with 43% indicating it would greatly impact their decision to travel.
  • Key impacts are:  Reducing the number of trips planned – 44% (up 8 points since May); choosing destinations close to home – 44% (up 5 points since June); reducing spend on:  retail purchases – 38% (up 5 points since May); entertainment & recreation – 36% (up 6 points since June); food & beverage – 28% (up 6 points since May); and lodging – 22% (up 5 points since June)
  • The silver lining in this is that only 7% are cancelling trips at this point.
  • Despite the ongoing workforce shortage in the tourism & hospitality sector, Customer Service expectations remain high with 52% expecting the same level of service as before the pandemic (up 7 points since January). Although fewer are expecting better service than pre-pandemic (28% – down 8 points since January). Does this mean that travellers are starting to reset their service expectations a little bit?
  • The pandemic’s impact on travel plans continues to wane as a survey-high 43% of American Travellers now say that it no longer has any impact on their decision to travel.
  • Finally, American travellers are beginning to shift away from remote work while away from home with 60% now saying they do not plan to work remotely while away from home. This is an increase of 11 points from last December.

The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded July 6, 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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