With COVID finally starting to cool down, the travel industry is beginning to heat up. As countries and governments begin easing restrictions, travel agents and operators have reported a significant increase in bookings for the upcoming year. Air travel is opening up and travelers will have more options in 2022 than in 2021 as destinations that have been closed to travelers, such as Australia and Bali, start reopening. Flight fares are down 18% from 2019, most airlines are still waiving flight change fees and while masks are here to stay for a while longer, drink service is back.
As for hotels, total bookings are expected to equal 2019 stays, however, revenue from meeting spaces and conferences remain missing as there is a continued decline in business meetings and group events. Vacation home rentals were up 30-60% in small cities and resort destinations compared to 2019, although rentals in larger cities are down about 25%. In response to the labor shortage, hotels have implemented new automation services such as keyless check in, digital communication and room delivery by robots, as well as focusing on sustainability initiatives.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to travel in 2022, you’d be smart to go ahead and book your rental car now. Car rentals are looking even worse in 2022 than they were in 2021, with many companies sold out of cars or twice the price of what customers would have paid pre-pandemic. It doesn’t look like it’s going to improve this year, and renters may be receiving older cars with higher mileage.
While this is (mostly) good news for the travel industry, and travelers, it is dependent on COVID variants and surges. Hopefully, things are starting to settle down in that regard and we can go back to living normally sooner rather than later.
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The assertions and statements in this blog post are based on the opinions of the author and Liquid Strategies. The examples cited in this paper are based on hypothetical situations and should only be considered as examples of potential trading strategies. They do not take into consideration the impact that certain economic or market factors have on the decision making process. Past performance is no indication of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss.