A new survey says that high-income earners are planning to stay home this upcoming holiday season and that doesn’t bode well for the travel industry. The notoriously busy Thanksgiving holiday is acutely affected by this phenomenon.
The new Morning Consult study says that while 2021 holiday travel will be higher (much higher!) than 2020, high-income earners (those making $75,000 or more per year) are still planning to dial back their Thanksgiving and holiday season plans.
Thanksgiving travel, the notoriously busiest travel season of the year, looks to be most impacted by this phenomenon.
According to the survey, just 14% of people in this demographic traveled which is no surprise given the uncertainty facing everyone at that time in the pandemic. However, for the same period in 2021, Morning Consult suggests that that cohort will still be a full 12 percentage points down from pre-pandemic levels.
The more you earn the more likely you are not to travel. Those earning $100,000 or more are 17% less likely to travel this Thanksgiving.
In addition to a simple volume decrease, the survey notes that those high earners who are traveling plan to spend less. Notably, the cohort of travelers plan to spend 21% less on transportation-related costs and 24% less on accommodation costs.
High earners are also cutting back on road trips which saw a big increase in the pandemic era as couped up families made a break for it by car, hoping to minimize the threat of infection.
With vaccine adoption on the rise, the trends are a little startling, but upon further analysis, the key factor may be, at least in our opinion here at the CBoardingGroup, that vaccines for children ages 12 and under are still not available, likely leading parents to continue exercising caution. Just like our family is with a 10-year daughter who remains the only unvaccinated family member in our immediate family. No travel plans for this high-earner family this year. Maybe Christmas.
It’s likely that travel brands will start to increase their promotional opportunities in a bid to lure travelers out of the comfort of their homes, but that remains to be seen.
See the full study here.