Guest Commentary by Dan René for Insidesources.com
Two years after the pandemic destroyed 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 normality: prices at the gas pump, skyrocketing airfares and inflationary pressures affecting hotels and resorts.
However, these rising costs do not mean a death sentence for travel plans. In fact, cost-effective travel by road, sky or sea will help combat rising prices – bringing travelers to the island while helping economies recover both here and abroad.
How to? The tourism and travel industry is the main driver of the economy. Before the pandemic, the industry’s total economic output in the United States was more than $1 trillion and supported 9.5 million tourism-related jobs.
These expenses affect 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, even at the local level.
The travel industry is doing its part to promote domestic and international tourism by providing a wide market for consumers. With metasearch platforms, online travel agencies and short-term rental sites, consumers can see all their choices in one place.
This forces airlines, hotels, car rental companies and short-term rental operators to compete for the best prices, services and offers.
These transparent online arenas are essential to combat the effects of volatile prices. By being able to comparison shop, consumers end up cutting prices. This allows them to choose travel options that maximize value while minimizing cost. And the less travelers spend on transportation and accommodation, the more money they can spend on tourism businesses at their destination.
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 making a positive impact on the economy.
Instead of wondering about that scenic hotel or direct flight, beat rising prices by booking early to ensure your spot is secure and costs don’t increase. You can also consider booking a fully refundable rate or hotel room to protect your funds if an unforeseen situation derails your trip.
Being flexible about location and time can also have a significant impact on price.
Going to an area where tourists are off-season can do wonders for your wallet. Do you have a specific experience and budget in mind?
Go to a short-term rental platform like Airbnb, where you have more control over the style, amenities, location and theme of your accommodations.
While inflation has had a significant impact on all industries, including travel and tourism, the current boom in goods and services does not mean that consumers need to stay at home.
By taking a proactive approach to planning and using online marketplaces to compare and contrast options, travelers are offered trips that are perfect for their interests and purses packed.
In doing so, the travel industry will continue to recover while helping our economy recover as well.
About the author
Dan René is the Director of Communications for the Travel Technology Association. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.