Travel prices increase as most states reopen

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Jun 17, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Just as California reopened for business, the summer travel season hit full swing.

After a year and some chance of being stuck at home, people are ready to get out of dodge, and the travel industry is poised to make a big comeback.

"This industry has been disproportionality by this pandemic," Governor Gavin Newsom said at a Monday press conference.

According to the Governor, visitors spent around $145 billion a year in the state before the pandemic.

That number got cut by more than half.

With things reopening, the industry is looking for a fast turnaround.

"The industry is ready to roll out the red carpet to prospective visitors in California, around the nation, and even the world," said Caroline Beteta, the President, and CEO of Visit California.

That's great, but if you're one of those travelers booking a trip, you've probably noticed prices aren't cheap.

With a lot of pent-up demand, travel prices are skyrocketing.

"Now we're starting to see a recovery, and that recovery is really being fueled by the leisure traveler," said Carter Wilson, Senior Vice President of Consulting at STR. "The person who saved some money last year and didn't really go anywhere and is now looking to get out."

STR is a data and analytics company that specializes in the hospitality sector. Numbers from STR show in some spots, people are now paying more for hotels.

According to the data average daily rate for the week ending 5 June for a hotel room in Orlando, Florida in 2019 was $116.02. Fast forward to June of this year, and the average is $114.61

The numbers show in Hawaii, the average cost in 2019 was $265.17. For that same week in 2021, the price was $302.51. In Cancun, the price in 2019 was 142.81 dollars. It's now $221.46.

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"A lot of people want to get out, and hotels are seeing that on their books and able to shift pricing accordingly," Wilson said.

It's not just hotel rooms.

Rental car prices have skyrocketed, and in some places, even getting a car is difficult.

While there are rental cars at reasonable prices in San Diego, things get a bit different if you look at prices in Hawaii.

On the 4th of July holiday weekend, one site showed there were only premium cars available. The lowest price reporter Adam Racusin found for that weekend was $442 a day.

There's also the cost of gas.

According to AAA, the average price for regular gas is up more than a dollar per gallon in California.

The US Travel Associations Travel Price index for May shows increase an 11 percent increase year to year and increases across the board.

Here's the thing those increases aren't stopping people.

Travel experts say if you are going to book a trip, book ahead and look for deals outside of summer.

Many airlines are already offering discounts for late fall.