American Hotel Industry Bemoans that Most Americans Plan to Stay Home for Holidays

The American Hotel & Lodging Association is bemoaning the fact that while travel has rebounded from the 2020 pandemic, most Americans are still opting to stay home this holiday season with majority of Americans not planning to travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

new national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by Morning Consult shows that 29% of Americans are likely to travel for Thanksgiving and 33% are likely to travel for Christmas—an increase from 21% and 24%, respectively, compared to 2020. Those who do plan to travel over the holidays expect to drive, but rising gas prices may dampen those plans. Fifty-two percent of Americans say they plan to take fewer trips and 53% plan to take shorter trips due to rising gas prices.

Still, most Americans are still opting to stay home this holiday season with 61% of Americans not planning to travel for Thanksgiving. 

“While vaccines have helped travelers feel more comfortable, rising gas prices and continued concerns about the pandemic are making many Americans hesitant to travel during the holidays,” commented American Hotel & Lodging Association President and CEO Chip Rogers. “Despite a slight expected uptick in holiday travel this year, hotels will continue to face economic fallout from the pandemic, underscoring the need for targeted federal relief, such as the Save Hotel Jobs Act, to support the industry and its workforce until travel fully returns.” 
 
Some recent media coverage regarding this new survey, and you can download a one-pager on the results HERE.
 

  • CBS News Radio: “While rising vaccination rates against COVID-19 have increased travelers comfort levels, most Americans are still opting to stay home this holiday as gas prices break the bank. According to a new survey for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, nearly sixty percent of Americans say they’re unlikely to travel for either Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays. More than half of those asked say they plan to take fewer trips or shorter trips due to rising gas prices.”
  • Los Angeles Times: “According to a recent survey commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Assn., 29% of Americans said they were likely to travel for Thanksgiving — up from 21% last year. The share of people who said they were likely to do so for Christmas, 33%, was also up from last year’s 24%. Of those surveyed, 58% said they were planning to vacation somewhere within driving distance on account of the pandemic.”
  • WFLA (NBC – Tampa, FL): “Not heading to grandma’s for Thanksgiving. You’re not alone. Plenty of Americans are skipping out on that holiday tradition according to the American Hotel Lodging Association just one in three Americans plan to travel for Christmas and only 29% plan to travel for Thanksgiving. The organization blames rising gas prices and the ongoing pandemic concerns for keeping Americans at home.”
  • Chicago Sun Times: Travel Uptick Expected This Thanksgiving, But Hotel Industry Still Hurting, Reports Say “Millions more Americans are expected to be on the road and in the sky this Thanksgiving holiday, but the hotel industry says it’s still hurting. AAA predicts travel will recover to within 5% of pre-pandemic levels this Thanksgiving, with millions of Americans and Illinoisans traveling by car and plane. But the American Hotel and Lodging Association says the industry is still suffering from pandemic-era disruptions. ‘Despite a slight expected uptick in holiday travel this year, hotels will continue to face economic fallout from the pandemic,’ said Chip Rogers, CEO of the AHLA. Over 53 million Americans will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, an increase of 13% from 2020, AAA predicts. And in Illinois, total travel figures will be within 7 % of pre-pandemic levels. In the skies, domestic air travel “has almost completely recovered from its dramatic drop-off during the pandemic” and is up 80% from last year, AAA said.”
  • KOMO News (ABC – Seattle, WA):“Thanksgiving is almost two weeks away and more people will be traveling to see friends and family, a welcome change from last year. But according to one survey, some Americans are adjusting their plans to account for rising gas prices. A new Morning Consult survey on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) found that people were more likely to travel this year, compared to last, but the price at the pump was putting a damper on their plans. The survey conducted at the end of October found 61% of respondents reported they were not likely to travel for Thanksgiving and 59% said they probably wouldn’t travel for Christmas. That’s an improvement last year when 70% said they wouldn’t travel, largely due to COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, AAA is predicting 53 million people will travel over Thanksgiving weekend – the busiest weekend since the pandemic, with Sunday the single busiest travel day of the year.

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