More than half of Americans view leisure travel as an important budget priority, even during a recession | Tech US News


More than half of all Americans see leisure travel as an important budget priority right now, even with an economic recession just around the corner, according to the results of a new survey.

Responding to a survey conducted by Destination Analysts in September, 54.4% of Americans said travel was an “extremely high,” “high” or “somewhat high” budget priority in the next three months. In comparison, nearly a quarter of participants said travel was not a priority at the moment.

Also, the vast majority of American travelers don’t seem too dismayed by the likelihood of a recession. In response to another survey question, nearly three-quarters of participants (74.8%, to be exact) said they believed travel was a “worthwhile” investment, even if the economy contracted.

Late fall and early winter are popular times for many Americans to hit the road or take to the skies, and this holiday travel season may be no exception. More than a quarter of respondents said they planned to take a trip in October (26.6%), November (24.8%) and/or December (28.4%), despite higher gas prices and air fares.

Luxury travel

Destination analysts also factor in so-called “luxury travelers,” who make up about 27% of the U.S. traveling population. Over the next 12 months, the average luxury traveler is expected to spend $6,260 on their trip, or $2,000 more than the typical American traveler.

Compared to other Americans, luxury travelers are more likely to fly commercial than drive, and are also more likely to take cruises.

Investors can look at Carnival Cruise Line’s decidedly lackluster stock performance (it recently hit a 30-year low) and see the entire cruise line industry as in trouble. But as one equity analyst put it, Carnival’s problems are “company-specific.” The Miami-based firm is overexposed to Europe, “where currency, Covid-19 and a softer economy are all weighing on near-term reserves,” says Steven Wieczynski, chief executive of Stifel. Indeed, Carnival is down more than 21% in the three-month period to October 5, while competitor Royal Caribbean Cruises is up nearly 20%.

However, Wieczynski is bullish on the cruise industry and in fact issued a “buy” recommendation for Carnival, with a price target of $17. On Monday, the company’s shares traded below $7, their lowest point since February 1992.

Norwegian Cruise Line, the third-largest US carrier by market capitalization, announced this week that it would eliminate all Covid-related testing, masking and vaccination requirements as of October 4. The company’s decision is expected to be well received by travelers who may have been waiting. apart from the last two years. “Many travelers have been patiently waiting to take their long-awaited vacation at sea and we can’t wait to celebrate their return,” said Norwegian CEO and President Harry Sommer.

An economical engine

I think this is all very positive news no matter how you look at it. The national travel and tourism industry is estimated to represent a not inconsiderable 7.6% of the US economy. From a loss of nearly $766 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic, the industry looks set to contribute $1.8 billion by the end of 2022, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Millions of Americans depend on travel and tourism for their livelihoods. In 2019, the most recent year for data, the industry supported one in 20 jobs in the US. U.S., directly or indirectly. The airline industry alone employed approximately 770,000 Americans as of June 2022.

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