COVID-19 Related Travel Industry Trends
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel industry continues to be far-reaching and rapidly evolving. And since pet resorts and the travel industry are inextricably linked, it’s important now more than ever to stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
In an effort to track and interpret current trends in the travel industry, free from political or media bias, we have compiled a collection of reliable data sources that provide an overview of travel patterns and transit methods. These sources include:
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Data for Air Travel
- Energy Information Agency (EIA) data for Gasoline Retail Supply
- U.S. Hotel Occupancy Rates
This information will be updated weekly for the foreseeable future. Links to recent news articles are also included below for additional insights into the travel landscape as it evolves.
Pet Resort Google Search Trends
Google Trends has shown an increase in dog boarding interest (probably planning for the Labor day weekend). Dog grooming searches continue to drop from their peak after the first round of business openings and are returning to normal levels of search interest. Dog training searches continues to provide the most positive sustained levels of interest. We are seeing Dog Daycare searches beginning to trend down slightly.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Data for Air Travel
As of 7/31/2020, TSA Passenger throughput inched up 25.7% for the rolling 7 days compared to last year similar timeframe. Since 7/26/2020 we have begun to see a slight upward trend but are still below the peak of 27.4% back on July 8th. As the graph shows airline travel growth has really flattened out since the 4th of July. This will continue to dampen demand on long-term boarding.
Updated July 31, 2020
US Hotel Occupancy Rates
The Hospitality and Leisure Industry lost as many jobs as construction, government, manufacturing, retail, education & health services combined over a one-month period, according to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics. And 2020 is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy, the AHLA reports.
In order to jumpstart recovery, the hotel industry established the Safe Stay Initiative to instill confidence for both customers and employees in the cleanliness and safety of participating hotels. Major hotel chains are adding requirements to wear a face mask while in indoor, public spaces.
Hotel Occupancy rose slightly running at 62. % of last year’s rate as of 7/25/2020. Since the high of 69.8% the 4th of July weekend occupancy rates have slowed down the upward trend. We are currently running at 48.1% occupancy rate versus 77.46% last year.
Energy Information Agency (EIA) data for Gasoline Retail Supply
Gasoline Supply as a measure of road travel begin to pivot up slightly after a slight downturn and is currently running at 92.2% of last year’s levels as of 7/24/2020 according to the EIA
For Americans deciding to travel, many are opting for driving trips, which offer more control over the surrounding environment but are not without risk. The increase in car travel will continue to be less positive for Pet Resorts, as more people can take their pets with them, especially if traveling in RVs or to nearby destinations.
Updated July 24, 2020
In a recent survey, almost a third of Americans said they are ready to travel this summer, with a majority headed for a state or national park or beach getaway within driving distance. The increase in car travel will likely be less positive for Pet Resorts, as more people can take their pets with them, especially if traveling in RVs or to nearby destinations.
As travel restrictions are eased or lifted around the world, new health and safety protocols are implemented, and tourists and business travelers begin to test the waters, organizations across the globe are focused on recovery efforts. As the Secretary-General of the UN’s World Tourism Organization recently stated:
For our valued Pet Resort partners, your business is already based on the trust your clients place in you to care for their pets with as much loving attention as they would receive at home. Trust in the coronavirus climate expands that understanding to include increased cleaning measures to protect pets, clients and employees, flexibility when making reservations, and confidence that you will stand ready to serve your community and especially front-line workers.
Check back often for up-to-date intel for making informed decisions regarding your pet resort business. We will continue to monitor the data and media coverage of travel trends in support of your efforts to serve your community and their beloved pets.