On May 10th, I posted some observations about travel spending and the expectations for the summer 2022 travel season. Accessing Tourism Economics data from U.S. Travel's Travel Recovery Insights Dashboard, I noted that the gap between current and 2019 travel spending in New York State had halved between January 2021 (-65% 0r -$4.5B) and December 2021 (-33% or -$2.4B). Better yet, the first quarter of this year showed even more rapid improvement, halving the current vs 2019 gap by March of 2022 (-16% or -$1.2B).
Eight weeks later, I am happy to share that the trend of increasingly rapid improvement appears to continue. As of May, 2022, New York State travel spending reached a post-pandemic monthly high of $7.2 Billion. While this is still a decline of -7% or -$0.5 Billion vs 2019, it is less than half the decline in March 2022, a quarter of the December 2021 decline. And a travel spending increase of $4 Billion vs May of 2021.
By comparison, May 2022 travel spending in the neighboring states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania were also down 7%. New Jersey and California (-9%), Maryland, Minnesota and Illinois (-11%), and particularly Washington, DC (-29%) fared less well. Maine (+25%), Montana (+20%), Vermont (+17%), South Dakota (+11%), Utah (+10%) Alaska (+9%) are leading the recovery.
The gap between New York State and the overall national recovery also continues to narrow. Nationally, U.S. travel spending in May 2022 was $101.4 Billion, up $0.2 Billion vs May 2019.
Other key indicators worth noting from U.S. Travel's Travel Recovery Insights Dashboard
(May 2022 vs May 2019 U.S. data):
Auto Trips (Arrivalist): -2% * Hotel Demand (STR): -2% * Short-term Rentals: +26%
Air Passengers (TSA):-10% * Overseas Arrivals (NTTO): -43%
I'll be posting regular updates in future months and hope that in the near future we'll be reporting New York's double-digit gains vs 2019. Then we will truly be able to consider our industry not just 'recovered' but 'resurgent.'
- Bob Provost