The news: US adults’ travel plans are returning to pre-pandemic levels: In a May 2021 Morning Consult poll, 64% of respondents said they planned to travel domestically this summer, slightly more than the 63% who said they traveled at least once during an average, pre-pandemic summer.
More on this: Heightened demand means higher prices—domestic fares are up 9% since April 1, per Bernstein estimates cited by CNBC. And demand for travel is increasing as more US adults get vaccinated. With 70% of the US population estimated to be vaccinated by August 10, according to The New York Times, travel demand could creep up even more and send prices even higher. But there are still a few ways marketers can capture renewed demand for travel among price-conscious consumers:
The bigger picture: Despite near-normal levels of demand this summer, the travel industry is still in recovery mode, and we still don’t expect travel ad spending to come anywhere close to where it was in 2019. This year, digital travel ad spend will rise 15.3% to $3.74 billion, but that won’t be enough to make up for last year’s 41.0% drop. Though we don’t have a forecast for 2022 yet, this summer’s potential rebound is an optimistic sign.