Rising petrol prices and inflation overtake Covid as top travel concern, survey finds

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After more than two years spent largely at home due to the pandemic, most Americans are ready to hit the road.

Yet inflation and record petrol prices are weighing on would-be holidaymakers even more than Covid worries, a report has found.

About 60% of Americans said they would take more trips this year compared to last year, although higher prices are now prompting travelers to scale back their plans and travel shorter distances, the survey finds. from Morning Consult and commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. .

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A third are likely to cancel completely.

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Gasoline prices have risen sharply as the peak summer driving season approaches, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and show no signs of slowing down.

The national unleaded gasoline average hit a new high of $4.62 a gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA data. Prices are up more than 50% compared to last year.

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Analysts say gas prices typically peak in mid-May, but this year pump prices could continue to rise in July and hit around $5 a gallon or more.

Today, 90% of Americans consider the price of gas when deciding whether or not to travel in the next three months, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

The same proportion also say that inflation is a factor in their future plans. Meanwhile, 78% now say Covid infection rates are a factor in deciding summer travel.

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“The pandemic has instilled in most people a greater appreciation for travel, and that’s reflected in the plans Americans are making to get out and about this summer,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel. & Lodging Association.

“But as the negative impact of Covid on travel begins to fade, a new set of challenges are emerging in the form of historic inflation and record fuel prices.”

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