Bah humbug!

That’s how everyone’s feeling about the Omicron variant and the pandemic!  American travelers remain in a ready-to-travel state of mind but that’s not to say it can all change at a moment’s notice. While the recent news of the new variant does have travelers concerned, there is still plenty of excitement about getting away for the holidays and during the colder winter months coming up. While the pandemic has no end in sight, many Americans are now looking forward to balancing the pandemic safety regulations and going on with their normal lives, and that includes the desire to travel.

Round # 2 of Pent up Travel Demand

As a travel expert who’s predicted 2022 the year travel comes back it moves my heart when I read in the latest USTOA survey report that 59% of trip volume booked in 2022 is rebooking from earlier reservations. In addition to that, 41% of new bookings have come since Covid-19 started.  Meaning travel confidence has taken leaps and strides since this whole thing even started. Data indicates that the widely available Covid-19 vaccines are a key factor in making people feel confident about booking travel again.  Contrary to the dip some travel experts predict to see since the announcement of the new variant, the TSA reports that travel levels continue to return to “normal” or pre-pandemic levels post Thanksgiving. Almost 21 million people have been processed since the holiday and an early Hanukah may have helped to keep American travelers moving.

Travel Trends to Keep an EYE on in ’22

Not surprisingly the shift to business booked by travel agents has also significantly increased during the pandemic. Other shifts seen in travel include smaller traditional size groups, private tours, and escorted trips, custom packages, student travel, and cruises are making a comeback.  Domestic air travel in the U.S has returned to near 2019 levels in the most recent months and International travel continues to increase. There is a large portion of travelers who moved their travel plans from 2020 to 2022 which is also leading to the influx of business.  Despite the continued volatility in the travel space majority of travelers and industry professionals remain optimistic about the future.

How has the new variant affected your travel plans,  if at all?

Until next Time ~ Ayerim

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