High Gas Prices Impacting Travel Plans

It should probably come as no surprise, but according to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travellers, 41% of them say record-high prices at the pump will greatly impact their decisions to travel in the next six months, up from 32% in May.

And 36% of travellers report that higher fuel costs and ticket prices are reducing the likelihood of booking air travel for the rest of this year.

Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International, observed that: “High gas and jet fuel prices are disrupting travel plans for this summer and fall.”

And Eylon added: “Predictions of even higher fuel costs in future, if accurate, could do significant damage to the travel industry’s COVID-19 recovery now underway.”

Even with these price and cost concerns, 91% of travellers do have trips planned in the next six months. And only 16% of them say that coronavirus will greatly impact their travel plans in the next six months, the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic more than two years ago.

Other findings of the tracking study include:

  • A survey record-high 41% of American travelers now say rising gas prices will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months. Two-thirds (66%) say it will impact or greatly impact their decision to travel.
  • Looking at the impacts rising fuel prices are having on travel planning, taking trips closer to home is still the top impact at 39%. But … we saw growth in those saying they are reducing the number of trips they have planned to 39% (up three points from last month). We also saw continued growth in those factors involving re-allocation of travel spending in order to make the trip happen such as:  reducing spending on retail purchases (34%); and entertainment and recreation (31%).
  • Concerns that one’s personal financial situation would greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months is holding steady at 25%.
  • However, one third of American travellers (33%) now say that concerns about rising transportation costs would greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months (up 7 points in the past two months)!
  • In talking to travellers about what factors are likely to reduce their decision to fly this year, 36% cite rising fuel prices, 24% cite health/pandemic concerns, 18% cite risks of delays/cancellations, and 17% say the behaviour of fellow passengers.
  • Silver Linings — Despite all these inflationary pressures and concerns, demand for travel is still at record highs with 91% of American travellers still indicating plans to take a trip within the next six months.
  • Only about one in six (16%) of American travellers indicate that fear of COVID-19 will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months as the shift from pandemic to endemic traveler mindset continues.
  • Top activities indicated for this summer by travellers on their next leisure trip include:  Visiting friends and relatives (53%), beach/waterfront (48%); and road trips (45%).  The year of road trips with friends and families to water and great outdoor destinations continues.

For more, go to https://longwoods-intl.com/covid-19 or covid19.milespartnership.com/ .