Rather than sun, sand, and surf, many travel discussions now center on inflation, rising fuel costs, and flight cancellations, a situation that could derail a much-needed 2022 summer travel comeback.
Travel conversations on Twitter decreased 75 percent from April to May, while discussions related to gas prices and travel — half of which were negative — climbed 680 percent on the website from the winter months into the spring, according to the social media analytics company Sprout Social.
Yet despite the potential problems ahead, the outlook for summer travel remains strong, said industry insiders, with many travelers saying they’re concerned but undeterred about their upcoming plans.
No, said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, a Melbourne-based travel company that focuses on small group adventure vacations around the globe, when asked if travelers are canceling plans.
He said the company hasn’t seen higher cancellation rates this summer. “In the last few months, global concerns about shortages, sanctions and higher costs have had economists sounding alarms,” said Thornton. “Despite the rise in costs, travel bookings have more than doubled.”
David Mann, the chief economist at the Mastercard Economics Institute, said higher prices won’t stop travelers this summer, especially in parts of the world that have recently reopened, such as the Asia-Pacific.
A new survey indicates Singaporeans, for example, aren’t willing to sacrifice their summer travel plans in the face of rising costs.
Despite 77 percent indicating they were either “extremely” or “very” concerned about rising costs, nearly 40 percent more people plan to travel this summer than in the last, according to a Tripadvisor Travel Index released in May.