Recovery milestones: I am pleased to report New York State travel spending marked several recovery milestones in June 2022 according to figures released by U.S. Travel and its data partners. June's reported travel spend total of $7.7 Billion is +$3.1 Billion vs 2021 - a whopping 67% YOY increase! Of course tax revenues have rebounded along with the travel expenditures. June 2022 NY state and local tax revenues were estimated at $689 million, down less than 2% vs 2019.
Have we recovered from the pandemic impact on our industry? While New York's travel spend still fell short of pre-pandemic 2019 levels, the gap has narrowed dramatically month-by-month - from -65% one year ago, to -33% in December 2021, to -16% in March 2022, -7% in May 2022 and just -2.4% for June 2022. Put more simply, in June 2021 New York State travel spending was approximately $3.3 Billion short of 2019, in June 2022 the gap is closer to $200 Million. Overall U.S. Travel spending registered a modest increase of +1% for June of 2022.
How is New York faring vs the rest of the country? As the chart below illustrates, the gap between New York State's travel spending recovery and the U.S. travel recovery has narrowed dramatically since the beginning of 2022.
What is driving our recovery? Driving! Travel by automobile in New York State was up 6.3% vs 2019 in June of 2022., nearly three times the +2.2% reported nationally. By contrast, New York's air passenger arrivals were -15.9% (vs -10.9% nationally), hotel demand was -5.1% (vs -1.6% nationally) and leisure and hospitality employment was -11.3% (vs -5% nationally). Short term rentals were up over 20% at both the state and national level.
What is inhibiting recovery? Consumers are ready to travel, but gas prices, air travel performance and pricing issues and residual pandemic health concerns affect demand. Business and group travel is showing strong improvement, but still falls far short of 2019 levels.
Overseas inbound passenger traffic is another area still far behind (-37% for New York, -41% nationally) 2019 levels and is not expected to rebound to 2019 levels until late 2024 or early 2025. However, as the chart below indicates, New York State performance in this area has matched and surpassed national indices consistently in 2022.
NYSTIA wishes to thank our friends at U.S. Travel and their data partners for making this information available to our members. - Bob Provost