Daily Podcast: Americans Travel Confidently

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Hello from Skift. It’s Friday, April 14 in New York. Here’s what you need to know about the travel industry today.

Rashaad Jordan

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast explains why Americans are optimistic about travel, why tour operators are thinking about solo travelers and how President Joe Biden is trying to cut airline emissions.

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Episode Notes

Despite widespread concerns about the state of the economy, Americans traveled in large numbers in March and many expect to travel more next year, Skift Research Vice President Haixia Wang writes in Skift Research’s latest report.

Skift Research released its US Travel Tracker: March 2022 Highlights, which found about 41% of Americans traveled in the past month. Although the figure is a very slight increase from January, it is 5 percentage points higher than March last year, which Wang said is a positive sign for the travel industry ahead of the busy summer season.

Although 51% of U.S. adults polled in the Skift Research survey think the U.S. economy will fare worse over the next 12 months, economic concerns are unlikely to dampen pent-up travel demand. About 34% of respondents still expect to increase their travel spending over the next year, more than double those who expect the opposite.

Second, tour operators have long welcomed solo travelers on their trips, but sometimes struggle to attract large numbers of guests from the lucrative market. But these companies are making inroads with solo travelers by launching new offerings focused on the growing segment, reports editorial assistant Rashaad Jorden.

As tour operator executives think consumers are willing to splurge a little more for their own room if it’s affordable, they’re taking a step to reduce single supplements, which are charged to solo travelers who occupy a room alone. of hotel. The Travel Corporation, the parent company of dozens of tour operators, cut its single surcharge by an average of 45-55% in January for all its brands except Contiki.

But Explore Worldwide went even further with a sale in February that offered consumers one-time extras free on hundreds of tee times and half price on most others. The company estimates that travelers who booked trips during the sales were able to save up to $850.

Finally, President Joe Biden expressed support earlier this week for a Sustainable Aviation Fuel Tax Credit, or SAF, that would incentivize the airline industry to reduce emissions. However, Airlines journalist Edward Russell writes that it is uncertain whether this will ever become law.

SAF is considered the quickest and most effective short-term solution to drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels. Global SAF production is on track to reach 1 billion gallons per year by the second half of this decade, but this figure would represent only 1% of the world’s aviation fuel consumption.

Savanthi Syth, aviation analyst at investment bank Raymond James, believes a federal tax credit or other incentives could boost SAF production beyond the projected 1 billion gallons. But legislation that would grant a tax credit of up to $2 per gallon for sustainable fuels is currently stalled in Congress despite bipartisan support.