Leisure-time travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels.
But gas prices are getting so high that they are putting a heavy burden on the household budget of those who want to travel this summer. This is pushing $5 a gallon in parts of North Texas and beyond.
This, combined with the highest rise in inflation in 40 years, is changing the way people travel right now.
The idea of ”vacation” is becoming more and more attractive to families.
“With the rise in gas prices, we see that our business has been in transition for the last two months – about 75% is in cars or locals who have decided to stay and play instead of moving on. plane and jump to San Diego or Miami,” said Krystal Kennedy, regional sales director for The Statler Dallas, Curio Collection by Hilton.
Many visitors come from cities that need a gas tank.
“Our big aftermarkets are Austin, Houston, San Antonio,” Kennedy said. “Shreveport is really sneaking in there. We get a lot from Waco, who is on a quick 90-minute drive.”
They have also noticed that more holidaymakers are making decisions days in advance, so last-minute bookings have become commonplace.
Hotels now cater to these specific visitors. For example, The Statler is offering special discounts for Texas residents and new perks such as free valet parking for those with cars to help accommodate anyone who drives into downtown Dallas.
If you are vacationing or traveling to other parts of Texas, you should ask the hotel about these benefits.
Mitch Whitten, COO of Visit Fort Worth, said they are seeing the same trends.
“Nationally, 86% of Americans plan to travel this year. About 60% plan to travel closer to home,” Whitten said. “More travelers from Texas are finding their way to Fort Worth. Visit Fort Worth tracks big visitor surges from cities like El Paso and Corpus Christi and closer ones like Waco and Weatherford.”
They also see a trend for new locals who have recently moved to DFW to play tourists in their new city.
“Fort Worth is very popular with the 7 million people who live in the DFW region, many of whom are new Texans or new to the region,” Witten said.
This is why internships are becoming more and more popular. Visit Fort Worth has developed itineraries for families who want to follow an easy guide on things to do in Fort Worth, including free experiences.
Meanwhile, Visit Dallas said that despite high gas prices, travel is making a comeback in every possible way.
Polls show that people are spending less on other things, such as clothing and retail, to be able to travel this summer.
“Now there is a phenomenon called the journey of revenge. People have been so depressed over the past two years that they are about to leave,” said Craig Davis, President and CEO of Visit Dallas. “A recent study showed that more than 65% of people surveyed said they were going to travel in the next six months, regardless of…