One-Third of Americans Traveled More in 2023 Than Pre-COVID: Stats

The travel rebound continues as travel volumes break records. According to the “Global Rescue Fall Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey,” more than 80 percent of the world’s most experienced travelers took as many or more trips in 2023 than at any time before the pandemic. More than a third of respondents (35 percent) said they traveled more in 2023 than any time before the pandemic. Nearly half (48 percent) said they traveled about the same amount, while less than a fifth (17 percent) traveled less.

The enduring travel recovery is welcome news for the travel industry and travel continues to surpass pre-pandemic travel levels. “Adventure travel, luxury travel and other activity-focused segments continue to see strong growth. Many places are at capacity or are over-subscribed and have waiting lists,” said Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies, a provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services.

Despite rising travel costs, airline flight disruptions and travel staff shortages, most survey respondents (66 percent) did not cancel any trips in 2023 and more than a third (38 percent) did not postpone any travel plans. Fewer than 5 percent of survey respondents said they had to cancel at least one trip due to rising travel costs and fewer than a tenth (9 percent) had to postpone a trip.

Experts predicted the travel rebound could lead to crowding at popular destinations, limited flights and lodging availability. More than half of survey respondents (58 percent) did not encounter any sold-out occurrences for any of their trips. However, nearly a third (30 percent) said they were prevented at least once from booking something because it was sold out. Fewer than a tenth (7 percent) said they missed out on a booking three times or more.

For most travelers responding to the survey (67 percent), it was a flight that was sold out. Fewer than half (41 percent) of respondents said it was lodging that was unavailable. Fewer than a fifth (16 percent) said restaurants were unavailable.

The bullwhip effect may help reverse rising travel costs and increase flight and lodging availability. “Where previously ordered but undelivered supply like airplanes, buses and trained labor finally arrive in a market with tepid demand, falling prices will result,” Richards said.

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