Guest commentary by Dan Rene for Insidesources.com
Two years after the pandemic derailed many people’s vacation plans, travelers are looking for new experiences and exciting destinations this summer.
But there has been another major obstacle to our return to normalcy: gas pump prices, rising airfares and inflationary pressures affecting hotels and resorts.
However, these rising costs do not spell a death sentence for travel plans. In fact, the cost-effective hit by road, sky or sea will help combat rising prices – so travelers leave the island while helping the economy recover here and abroad.
How? The tourism and travel industry is a major economic driver. Before the pandemic, the total economic output generated by this industry in the United States was more than $1 trillion and supported by 9.5 million tourism-related jobs.
This spending affects not only airlines and hospitality groups, but also shops, restaurants and attractions. Thousands of families supported by travel and tourism rely on this discretionary spending, which distributes funds between businesses and governments at even the most local levels.
The travel industry is doing its part to encourage domestic and international tourism by offering consumers a wide market. Through the use of metasearch platforms, online travel agencies and short-term rental sites, consumers can view all their choices in one place.
This drives airlines, hotels, car rental companies and short-term rental operators to compete for the best prices, services and deals.
These transparent online arenas are essential to combat the runaway pricing effect. With the ability to compare, consumers are ultimately driving down prices. This gives them the power to choose travel options that maximize value while minimizing costs. And the less travelers spend on transportation and accommodation, the more money they can spend at their destination on tourism businesses.
In addition to using online marketplaces—Expedia, Vrbo, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Airbnb, and Booking.com, to name a few—there are several ways consumers can keep travel plans affordable while positively impacting the economy.
Instead of thinking about that fancy hotel or non-stop flight, beat rising prices by booking early to ensure your spot is secure and costs don’t skyrocket. You may also consider booking a fully refundable fare or hotel room to protect your funds if an unexpected situation disrupts your trip.
Being flexible in location and time can also significantly affect the price.
Venturing into an off-season area for tourists can do wonders for your wallet. Have a specific experience – and budget – in mind?
Head to a short-term rental platform like Airbnb, where you have more control over the style, amenities, location and theme of your accommodation.
While inflation has significantly affected all industries, including travel and tourism, the current increase in goods and services does not mean that consumers should stay at home.
Taking a proactive approach when planning and using online marketplaces to compare and contrast options ensures travelers the perfect trips for their interests and tight purse strings.
By doing so, the travel industry will continue to recover while also helping the recovery of our economy.
About the Author
Dan Rene is director of communications for the Travel Technology Association. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.