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Impacting Travel

Fewer Americans plan to travel this holiday season

Regardless of the surveys and analysis you follow, one thing is for sure: Fewer Americans will be traveling during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Both AAA Travel and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) predict that up to two-thirds of Americans will end up staying home as the coronavirus continues with a surge in the second wave of positive tests across virtually the entire country.

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AAA expects at least 34 million fewer travelers compared to last year’s holiday season, although it said that as many as 84.5 million Americans can still travel from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, a decrease in travel from to minus 29 percent.

“While Thanksgiving is traditionally devoted to getting together with friends and family, the end of the year holidays are when Americans often venture out for a longer and more elaborate vacation. That will not be the case this year, ”said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, in a statement. “Public health concerns, official no-travel guidance and a general decline in consumer confidence have encouraged the vast majority of Americans to stay home for the holidays.”

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The CDC has urged Americans not to travel during this year’s vacation, warning that traveling increases your chances of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

But not even a drop in prices will move travelers, AAA said.

“Normally, cheaper gas prices are an incentive for last minute trips, especially during vacations. But lower prices and less traffic aren’t driving decisions to hit the road. Americans are looking at the public health landscape, including COVID-19 case numbers, to make their travel decisions, ”said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson.

A recent national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association came to the same conclusion. The AHLA also shows that nearly two-thirds (69 percent) of Americans will not travel for Christmas.

“We understand the importance of following CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support government actions. However, with the dramatic drop in travel, hotels will face a harsh winter through no fault of our own, ”said Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO in a statement.

Rogers used the occasion to advocate for the approval of a second round of stimulus from the federal government.

“The hotel industry needs help to survive until the demand for travel returns. Given this current environment, Congress cannot and should not contemplate a recess until a relief bill is passed now, ”said Rogers. Millions of Americans are out of work and thousands of small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. We cannot afford to wait until the next Congress is sworn in for relief. We need help now. “

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