WASHINGTON. Higher prices for gasoline, airline tickets and pretty much everything else don’t seem to be holding back travel this Memorial Day weekend, which experts said on Friday would “return to pre-pandemic levels.”
Travel is expected to increase 8.3% across the country this weekend compared to the last Memorial Day holiday, with 39.2 million Americans traveling and more than 90% of them making it to their destination, said Aldo Vazquez, spokesman for AAA Arizona. This includes about 811,000 Arizona residents who are expected to go on vacation, of which 724,000 are in cars.
The surge in travel comes despite a record gas price spike, with the national average a gallon costing $4.59, according to the AAA. Arizona has an even higher average of $4,925 per gallon, making it the ninth most expensive state on average.
“I don’t think the price of gas deters people (from traveling),” said Jennifer Beck, travel agent for Carlisle Travel Management. “The desire to go and get out again is definitely an oversight on the cost of gasoline.”
It’s not just gas. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, inflation rose 4.9% in April compared to last year and reached a 40-year high.
Airfare prices are also on the rise, with airfare increasing by 18.6% between March and April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. AAA found that the average lowest airfare is 6% higher than last year, at $184 per ticket.
While 90% of Americans said gas prices are factored into their travel plans, according to a survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, this didn’t seem to put Americans off. This Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the summer tourist season, is expected to be the busiest in three years.
Travelers simply factor the cost of gasoline into their budget and adjust their spending accordingly, Vasquez said.
This was echoed by Kim Sabow, CEO and President of the Arizona Housing and Tourism Association, who said in a statement that “various polls have shown that high gas prices will not reduce travel, but will likely affect how much money is spent on housing.” “. entertainment and food.
Instead of canceling trips entirely due to cost increases, 57% of travelers told AHLA they were likely to take fewer vacation trips, and 54% say they would take shorter trips. Beck recommends that Arizona people who want to go on vacation stay put…