High Prices Likely To Have an Impact on Summer Travel



Americans report that gas prices and inflation will impact their summer travel decisions more than concerns about COVID-19, according to a new survey conducted by Morning Consult, commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer travel season, typically busy time for the hotel industry and this year, according to 2,210 adults surveyed on May 18-22, nearly seven in ten Americans (69 percent) report being likely to travel this summer, with 60 percent saying they are likely to take more vacations this year compared to 2020-21. However, new concerns about gas prices and inflation are impacting Americans’ travel plans in a variety of ways. Majorities say they are likely to take fewer leisure trips (57 percent) and shorter trips (54 percent) due to current gas prices, while 44 percent are likely to postpone trips, and 33 percent are likely to cancel with no plans to reschedule. 82 percent say gas prices will have at least some impact on their travel destination(s).


Other key findings include:

  • 68 percent of Americans agree they have a greater appreciation for travel because of missed experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • 57 percent are planning a family vacation this summer, a majority of which plan to stay in a hotel

  • 46 percent are likely to travel overnight for a family event such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, or family reunion

  • 25 percent are likely to travel for Memorial Day; 32 percent for 4th of July; and 27 percent for Labor Day

  • 60 percent say they are likely to take more vacations this year compared to 2020-21

  • 60 percent say they are likely to take more vacations this year compared to 2020-21

  • 60 percent are likely to attend more indoor gatherings

  • 57 percent are likely to take longer vacations

  • 56 percent are likely to take trips to farther-away destinations

  • 90 percent say gas prices are a consideration in deciding whether to travel in the next three months (50 percent major consideration, 23 percent moderate consideration, 17 percent slight consideration, 10 percent not a consideration)

  • 82 percent say gas prices will have at least some impact on their travel destination(s) (37 percent major impact, 29 percent moderate impact, 16 percent slight impact, 17 percent no impact)

  • Due to current gas prices, 57 percent are likely to take fewer leisure trips, 54 percent are likely to take shorter leisure trips, 44 percent are likely to postpone trips, and 33 percent are likely to cancel with no plans to reschedule

  • 90 percent say inflation is a consideration in deciding whether to travel in the next three months (39 percent major consideration, 31 percent moderate consideration, 20 percent slight consideration, 10 percent not a consideration)

  • 78 percent of Americans say that COVID-19 infection rates are a consideration in deciding whether to travel this summer (33 percent major consideration, 23 percent moderate consideration, 22 percent slight consideration, 22 percent not a consideration)

“The pandemic has instilled in most people a greater appreciation for travel, and that’s reflected in the plans Americans are making to get out and about this summer. But just as COVID’s negative impact on travel is starting to wane, a new set of challenges is emerging in the form of historic inflation and record high gas prices," commented Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, in a released statement. "We will be keeping a close eye on these issues and urging Congress and the administration to do the same in order to help ensure they don’t negatively impact hotels’ continued pandemic recovery,”


AHLA recently relaunched its Hospitality is Working campaign with a focus on reigniting travel across the nation and highlighting hotels’ positive economic impact in cities across the country. With travel ramping back up, hotels have embarked on an unprecedented hiring spree to recruit hundreds of thousands of workers for more than 200 hotel career pathways.


photo courtesy of Shutterstock