Despite the high cost of gasoline and air travel troubles across the country, Americans have been eager to travel so far in Summer 2022. Demand for travel has been so high in the post-lockdown world that it’s breaking records. Josh Zumbrun reports in The Wall Street Journal:
Gasoline prices at never-before-seen levels, a still unvanquished pandemic, airport nightmares, rental-car shortages and recession fears. Nearly all have been predicted as a death knell for summer travel.
Yet so far 2022 has been the “best year ever for demand,” said Jamie Lane, vice president of research for AirDNA, a vacation-rental research company.
AAA forecasts that more drivers will be hitting the road for July Fourth than ever before. That follows a banner June, when hotel results surged and Airbnb and rival Vrbo logged their highest number of short-term rentals ever.
One reason June was so strong: As of last year, the month now has a federal holiday, Juneteenth, which observes the end of slavery in the U.S. and marks the day—June 19, 1865—that news of emancipation reached Galveston in Texas (the first state to observe the holiday).
A closer look at the numbers behind summer vacation shows the growing importance of holiday weekends, which helps explain how travel has defied predictions of its demise to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. Both hotel revenues per available room and short-term rental bookings rose to records for the week leading into Juneteenth.
“Within literally a six-week period, you’ve got three major three-day weekends now. That’s only going to front-load the summer travel,” said Amir Eylon, the president of market research and consulting firm Longwoods International, referring to Memorial Day, Juneteenth and July Fourth.
Read more here.