CEO Message: February 2023
Tahoe Chamber | February 1, 2023 | Monthly CEO Message
As we think about what the New Year might hold for the tourism industry, it’s helpful to recap how the industry fared over the last year to see where we are heading.
2022 brought a rebound in the travel industry nationwide with the continued rollout of vaccines and easing of pandemic travel restrictions. There was pent-up demand for leisure travel. A new trend of traveling to make up for lost time, coined “revenge travel,” created high demand for airlines, lodging and tourist attractions.
However, that demand brought new challenges with staggering labor shortages significantly impacting travel. Airlines, lodging, and restaurants continue to be hit especially hard. These challenges wreaked havoc on the travel experience – from flight delays and cancellations to restaurants forced to routinely close certain days and reduced room availability in the lodging sector due to lack of service and housekeeping staff. The ongoing labor shortages will continue to affect the quality of the travel experience in 2023.
While many travelers have moved past the health concerns of the pandemic, there are new concerns for travelers including an impending recession, the increased cost of travel and heightened awareness of travelers’ impact on the environment.
According to research on U.S. travelers from Destination Analysts, current traveler sentiment for 2023 shows that over 62% of American travelers are planning to be more cautious with their money due to concerns of a recession. Of these travelers, 77% say this will include their budget for travel.
But despite these financial challenges, there is reason to find optimism. Nearly half of those surveyed anticipate that the recession will be short-lived and expectations to travel and spend more in 2023 are at the same levels as they were at the start of 2022 — a year that saw record numbers for tourism.