Americans set out on a near-record number of trips at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. Their enthusiasm for freeing them from the containment of the coronavirus has overcome the rise in prices for planes, petrol and hotels.
More than 1.8 million people pass through US airports on Thursday, and the number of days is widely expected to exceed 2 million at least once on long vacation weekends, the highest since early March 2020. Will be.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas warned people: Long lines are expected at the airport Patiently appealed to the traveler.
The increase in travel seems to be supported not only by the economic improvement, but also by the increase in COVID-19 vaccination. The US Department of Commerce said consumer spending increased in April, though not as much as in March, showing how consumers are driving a recovery from last year’s pandemic recession.
At Miami International Airport, authorities expected congestion comparable to pre-pandemic levels. A similar story was made in Orlando, where tourists rushed to the recently deregulated theme parks and airport traffic was in 2019. Reached 90% of the level.
Many hotels were booked well throughout the weekend, along the Florida coast and around Orlando.
Cathy Valestriere, general manager of Cranes Beach House, a boutique hotel in Delray Beach, Florida, said:
According to AAA, vacation destinations such as Las Vegas, Hawaii, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina were top destinations for vacationers. Paula Twidale, a spokesman for car clubs and insurance companies, said travel growth began in April as more Americans were vaccinated and the weather improved.
“People are excited to go out,” she said.
Memorial Day coincides with the time when some states lift the remaining pandemic restrictions as the number of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths declines.
Virginia, where President Joe Biden traveled to promote the administration’s efforts to contain the virus, relaxed all distance and population restrictions on Friday. Massachusetts mask obligations end on Saturday.
AAA expects travel to increase by 60% on Memorial Day weekend in 2020, with 37 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from their homes, most of them by car. MoveNevertheless Gasoline prices are at their highest level 7 years: The national average is more than $ 3 per gallon on a regular basis.
Car rental prices have also risen sharply after companies cut down on vehicles to survive last year’s severe travel slump.
“My mother-in-law called me on vacation and said,’Hey, can you rent a car? I answered no,” said Jordan Staab, president of SmarterTravel Media. “Demand has increased by 500% since January and it is difficult to rent a car right now, so plan as early as possible.”
Hotels and other accommodations on the beach and in the mountains are expected to be more crowded than in urban areas. Lou Career, president of the Distinct Hospitality Group, said bookings have skyrocketed at two of Connecticut’s tourist destinations since Connecticut relaxed mask requirements two weeks ago. It was. Boston.
According to the latest data from the Department of Commerce, hotel rates across the country rose 8% in March, then 9% in April, and airfares rose 10% in April.
It does not prevent people from boarding the plane. The Transportation Security Administration inspected about 1.6 million people a day this month. It increased from 224,000 a day in May 2020, but still decreased by a third from the same period in 2019. crowd.
Most of those travelers are on vacation or visiting family and friends in the United States. Airline executives say domestic leisure travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Delta Air Lines president Glenn Howenstein said this week that bookings are progressing faster than the pace of 2019.
However, business travelers and international visitors are still largely absent, and airlines are anxious for a profitable business to return.