Guest commentary by Dan Rene for Insidesources.com
Two years after the pandemic wrecked many people’s vacation plans, travelers are looking for new experiences and exciting destinations this summer.
But there was another major obstacle to our return to normal: prices at the pump, soaring airline tickets, and inflationary pressures affecting hotels and resorts.
These rising costs don’t mean a death sentence for travel plans, however. Traveling by road, sky or sea cheaply will actually help fight rising prices – allowing travelers to enjoy their island vacation while helping the economy here and abroad to recover.
As? The tourism and travel industry is an important economic factor. Before the pandemic, the combined economic output of this industry in the United States exceeded $1 trillion and was 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 through travel and tourism count on these discretionary spenders, which distribute funds among businesses and governments at even the most local levels.
The travel industry is doing its part to boost domestic and international tourism by offering consumers a huge marketplace. By using metasearch platforms, online travel agencies and short term rental websites, consumers can see all of their choices in one place.
This is forcing airlines, hotels, car rental companies and short-term rental companies to compete for the best prices, services and deals.
These transparent online arenas are essential to combating the impact of runaway prices. With the ability to compare prices, consumers ultimately drive prices down. This gives them the ability to select travel options that maximize value while minimizing costs. And the less travelers spend on transport and accommodation, the more money they can spend on tourism companies at the destination.
Aside from 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 dwelling on that quaint hotel or non-stop flight, beat rising prices by booking early to ensure your spot is secure and costs don’t skyrocket. You can also consider booking a fully refundable fare or hotel room to protect your money in case an unexpected situation derails your trip.
Flexibility in terms of location and time can also have a significant impact on the price.
Going to an area that is off-season for tourists 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 space.
While inflation has significantly impacted all industries, including travel and tourism, the current surge in goods and services does not mean consumers are stuck at home.
A proactive approach to planning and using online marketplaces to compare and compare opportunities offers travelers trips that perfectly suit their interests and a streamlined wallet.
In this way, the travel industry will continue to recover and at the same time contribute to the recovery of our economy.
About the author
Dan Rene is the communications director for the Travel Technology Association. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.