Positive figures regarding the number of Americans passing through TSA travel gates and the high hotel occupancy rates that have been recorded recently all point towards a busy winter of travel coming up in the US and beyond. Whilst travel numbers have yet to reach the figures posted in 2019 – before the pandemic – they have remained consistently high in the past few weeks, breaking 2 million passengers on several occasions.
From higher rates of vaccination and a decline in the number of positive cases, to getting the green light to travel from the CDC, there are several reasons why travel is looking healthy at the moment. Here’s a look at the facts and figures regarding travel and hotel occupancy rates, why they are so high and why they could be set to get even higher in the coming weeks.
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The darkest days of the pandemic, in 2020, saw many in the travel industry worrying – with good reason. Daily travel numbers only topped 1 million once after March, with many forced to stay at home as the travel landscape changed dramatically. However, things are looking up. Travel numbers have not only risen, but they have stayed high – showing long term confidence in how Covid-19 is being managed in the US as well as a desire to be able to travel once more.
Travel figures in the US have regularly topped 2 million daily travelers on weekends for the past few months, with the past few days seeing 2021’s figures at around 80% of the figures reported on the same days in 2019. Whilst there is still room for improvement, the fact that the figures have stayed high suggests that they could be set to grow even higher, particularly with key holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years on the horizon.
Airlines aren’t the only travel-related casualties of the pandemic. Hotels too have struggled due to the general drop in guests booking rooms as a result of the pandemic. Six months ago, reports suggested that hotel room occupancy rates were on the up after spending the best part of a year of the pandemic on the low side – and, thankfully, findings from the past few weeks have shown that these figures have stayed on the high side.
According to findings from the analytics company STR, hotel occupancy rates for the week ending October 16th reached its highest level since mid-August, in the busy summer travel period. Overall, occupancy levels were 65%; whilst that figure is 10% lower than during the same period in 2019, the Columbus Day holiday weekend occupancy levels were only 3% lower than 2019 – showing the demand for travel is still very much alive in the American travelers.
Several airlines have added new routes around the country and beyond, with the increase in interconnectivity and convenience bound to have had a positive impact on the number of people traveling. Meanwhile, the drop in Covid-19 cases and widespread vaccination will have given travelers the confidence to travel once more now that they face less risk.
Travel and hotel figures could yet be set to rise further, too. The US easing its restrictions with the EU and the UK could lead to more travelers taking a winter vacation abroad, whilst upcoming major holidays are bound to result in more travelers taking flights around the country – especially after the CDC gave them the green light to do so. If trends carry on, the end of 2021 is set to look a lot more positive than how it started.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com