ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – After two years of closures and travel restrictions due to COVID-19, people across the country – and Twin Tiers – are packing their bags and planning what is likely their first summer vacation. been in two years.
Even with declining COVID-19 cases and warmer weather around the corner, seasonal travel is likely to be different, economists told 18 News. With the increase in the cost of air travel, the number of passengers is expected to decline.
“I specifically know of families who have canceled flights due to the cost of airfare right now,” said financial consultant Matthew Burr.
Americans will continue to travel, but those in the hospitality industry expect people to get where they’re going differently, likely taking the roads instead of the skies. This means more “stays” and trips to local attractions.
“In the past, when we had fuel increases, we tended to get people closer to home than we otherwise would,” said Brittany Gibson of Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen.
Gibson, however, told 18 News that she fears that with inflation at its highest level in 40 years, business won’t be as good as in previous seasons.
“It’s a definite concern,” Gibson said. “When you see these people [the question is] Will they buy as much as before? This is a double concern on our part.