With the holidays top of mind, data from TSA shows that there is still a significant difference in the number of travelers passing through TSA checkpoints compared to a year ago. The daily average number of travelers passing through TSA checkpoints in 2019 was 2.4 million while in 2020 it is currently hovering around 570,000 a 76% decrease.
It is noteworthy that, this year in particular, there was a significant increase in passengers between June and September, while the prior year saw a more than 20% decline in the same period This indicates that the recovery in travel is far from a function of seasonality.
According to data from ForwardKeys, a leading travel analytics company, forward flight booking demand is still down more than 70% from last year. However, there is an increase in demand surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas, two major travel periods. These spikes in forward booking demand suggest that Americans are willing to take a calculated risk to spend holidays with family and friends especially when considering their fear of a second wave of COVID-19. According to a recent Gallup survey, 66% of Americans remain worried about the exposure to COVID-19.
Even more interesting is the relatively higher booking rates for popular vacation destinations compared to all other cities. Forward airline booking rates for Denver, Miami, Orlando and Las Vegas are materially higher in October and November.
Denver, one of the most popular skiing and outdoors destinations is experiencing an increase of 70% in airline booking demand from October to early December. Similarly, Miami, a city not only known for its beaches and nightlife but also as the cruise capital of the world, is showing an increase in airline booking demand that is 10% higher than the rest of the country. Orlando, home of a reduced capacity Walt Disney World, is also tracking higher than its peers.
Lastly but not least, Las Vegas, which leads all cities in terms of its dependence on tourism (32% of GDP) is experiencing airline booking demand that is 20% higher than the rest of the country. Could it be that Americans are more willing to risk infection in pursuit of leisure versus traveling for work or visiting family?
To learn more about the data behind this article and what ForwardKeys has to offer, visit http://forwardkeys.com.
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