With travelers getting a sense of optimism as the number of COVID-19 cases gradually deescalate, this summer will be a pivotal time for the travel and tourism industry. Hotels, airlines, cruises, and desired destinations begin to gain momentum among travelers who are looking to re-spark their vacation plans after 14+ months of putting those plans on hold.
On May 14, BWH Hotel Group – comprised of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, WorldHotels Collection, and SureStay Hotel Group – held their annual Travel Summit where a variety of industry leaders held a virtual panel discussion sharing their insight on traveler sentiment, trends reshaping the industry as travel continues to rebound, and summer travel seeing a major uptick. Panelists that helped lead these conversations included top leaders for industry giants such as Google, AAA, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, and U.S. Travel Association (moderated by ours truly, Lorne Fisher!)
Throughout these discussions, leaders shared a variety of insightful data that gave us a glimpse into what travel recovery is starting to look like, and how this summer is playing an essential role. Nelson Boyce, industry director of travel for Google, reported that the number of consumers that are ready to travel reached its highest level since the pandemic began. In fact, 1 in 3 consumers said they would take a leisure trip in July. To further expand on the increasing demand for travel, Paula Twidale, SVP of travel for AAA, reported that 37 million Americans were planning to travel this Memorial Day, while 9 out of 10 of those travelers would take road trips. U.S. Travel Association also reported that 77% of Americans are planning to travel this summer, compared to the 28% that planned a leisure trip in 2020. Dorothy Dowling, SVP and CMO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, dove into how brand marketing will play an essential role as the industry recovers and shared the launch of Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ newest “See You Soon” campaign, that was launched to help inspire optimism across consumers in the U.S. preparing to book their next trip.
With the economy beginning to have an optimistic outlook on the rebound of travel and more than half of adults in the U.S. being fully vaccinated, it’s exciting to see the return of travel make a comeback.