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Industry Messaging and Information

  • The U.S. Travel Association encourages travelers and the U.S. travel industry to monitor and follow the guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (links and industry updates on the U.S. Travel Association website)
  • Travel Industry Talking Points (U.S. Travel Association)



New research from Tourism Economics examines the expected impact of the coronavirus on the travel industry for the rest of this year, as well as the potential impacts of three programs designed to accelerate the recovery: meaningful federal grants for travel promotion, a travel tax credit to spur travel and create a demand for job growth, and an industrywide initiative to assure, inspire, motivate and encourage Americans to plan, book and travel in the U.S.

  • Through the end of 2020, the report estimates $505 billion in losses for the travel industry for a total of $81 billion in lost federal, state and local taxes by the end of 2020. The travel industry is not expected to recover until 2024.
  • The three recovery initiatives would generate an estimated $71 billion for the travel industry by the end of 2021, delivering $163 billion in economic output and restore nearly 800,000 jobs.

Week over Week Outlook (as of September 12)

  • As the end of summer nears, travel spending hit its lowest levels of the past four weeks
    • In the week ending September 12, travel spending tallied just $12.7 billion, reflecting a 43% drop below last year's levels (a $9.4 billion loss)
      • While significantly worse than the 30% year-over-year (y/y) decline in the prior week—which included the days leading into the Labor Day holiday—the 43% y/y decline remains consistent with performance for much of August
      • Actual dollar value travel losses were less than earlier weeks in August since travel spending levels generally decline with the conclusion of the summer travel season
    • Every state and territory saw a decline in travel spending compared to the prior week, but about half saw gains relative to two weeks prior
      • South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Oregon, and Alabama experienced the greatest improvements over the past two weeks
      • New York, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii still experienced losses exceeding 50%
    • Since the beginning of March, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over $376 billion in cumulative losses for the U.S. travel economy
    • The continual depressed level of travel spending has caused a loss of $48.3 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue since March 1



Tracking Traveler Trends

The following two tools show real-time data measuring the effects of COVID-19 on travel within the U.S. Tracking consumer behavior over time will help provide an early signal of returning travel activity that can help organizations determine the right time to re-deploy marketing plans and resources.


Hotel and Air: Traveler Trends Tracker (as of August 29)

  • Domestic air and hotel bookings for future travel improved slightly (-60% y/y), as they have each week since early July—the best performance since the start of the pandemic but still deep in negative territory
    • Domestic bookings to Montana (-7%), Wyoming (-15%) and Idaho (-21%) experienced the lowest y/y declines
    • Domestic bookings to New York (-77%), Hawaii (-71%) and Massachusetts (-70%), again, saw the highest declines
  • International bookings for future travel to the U.S. improved throughout the summer—from a low of -79% earlier in the summer to -67% y/y in early September—but remain significantly lower than domestic bookings

Source: Adara


Car: Daily Travel Index (as of August 29)

Arrivalist’s Weekly Travel Index, prepared for U.S. Travel Association, measures consumer road trips of 50 miles or more in all 50 U.S. states.

  • As shared last week, road travel over the Labor Day travel period (Thurs-Mon) was just 5.1% lower than in 2019
  • State-level data, by state of origin, is now available for the same Labor Day travel period and it shows extremely large differences between states
    • Road travel by residents of Florida (both in-state and out-of-state travel) experienced the strongest y/y growth (+51%) while travel by residents of Alaska (+28%) and Hawaii (+19%) followed
    • On the other hand, travel by residents of Vermont experienced the largest y/y decline (-17%), followed by Iowa (-15%) and Kentucky (-14%)

You can also view Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index here

Source: Arrivalist


Passenger Screenings at TSA (as of September 1)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) updates passenger screenings on a daily basis, providing a comparison to the same time last year.

  • The latest seven-day average of screenings (through Tuesday, September 15) was 683,000, similar to levels seen at the end of August (prior to the huge increase above 800,000 over Labor Day weekend) but slightly lower than most of August
  • Screenings over the last seven days were back at 70% below last year levels, after the y/y improvement to -64% over Labor Day weekend

Source: TSA