ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – After two years of lockdowns and travel restrictions due to COVID-19, people across the country — and the Twin Tiers — are packing their bags and planning what’s likely their first summer vacation in two years.
Even with COVID-19 cases down and warmer weather around the corner, seasonal travel will likely look different, economists told 18 News. With the cost of air travel up, passenger levels are expected to be down.
“I know families specifically that have canceled flights because of the cost of airline tickets right now,” Financial consultant Matthew Burr said.
American’s will still travel, but those in the hospitality sector expect people will get to where they’re going differently, likely hitting the roads instead of the skies. That means more so-called “staycations” and trips to local attractions.
“In the past, when we’ve had fuel increases, we tend to get people from closer to home than we would otherwise,” Brittany Gibson of Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen said.
Gibson, however, told 18 News she is concerned that with inflation at a 40-year high, business might not do as well as it has in past seasons.
“It’s a definite concern,” Gibson said. “When we see those people [the question is] are they going to buy as much as they have in the past? It’s a double concern on our part.”