How inflation affects summer travel: Consumers are getting ‘smarter’, says CEO

It’s been more than two years since Americans canceled their summer travel plans due to the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions, but now that people are traveling again, consumers are facing another challenge: skyrocketing inflation.

Executives from two travel companies told Fox News Digital that despite the economic backdrop changing consumer behavior, demand for summer travel is still incredibly strong.

Priceline CEO Brett Kellers said that even though inflation is near a 40-year high, “travel is resilient” and there will still be a “busy travel season” this summer.

He noted that “prices for all categories of travel, be it flights, hotels, car rentals, etc., have risen so dramatically over the past few months that consumers are having to rethink the type of travel they are willing to take. take.”


“They are downgrading their behavior so they can still enjoy traveling,” he said.

Keller provided the information as the latest inflation data released by the Labor Department showed that year-on-year inflation declined for the first time in several months in April, but rose more than expected.

The Labor Department reported last month that the consumer price index, a broad measure of prices for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rent, rose 8.3% in April compared to last year, down 8.3% year-over-year. 5% recorded last month. March. Prices have jumped 0.3% in a month-to-month period since March.

Those figures were higher than the 8.1% overall and the 0.2% monthly growth forecast by Refinitiv economists.

According to the data, airline fares have risen as more people have begun to travel, with prices up 18.6% over the month and 33.3% over the past year, the sharpest monthly increase since the report was created in 1963.

Consumers hoping to travel this summer face record high gas prices.

On Friday, the national average per gallon of gasoline was $4.76, according to AAA, a new record.

If prices continue to rise over the next few months, Keller warned, “consumers will be making compromises that could include not taking certain types of travel at all.”

Points Guy founder and CEO Brian Kelly also said that he believes “prices will continue to rise throughout the summer.”

He noted that despite the inflationary backdrop, “the consumer is very aggressive when it comes to booking trips and the numbers show it.”

Hailey Berg, lead economist for mobile travel app Hopper, said demand for summer travel is still…

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