Pent-Up Demand Leads Booking Holdings CEO To Warn Consumers Of Price Increases
He said there’s a lot of anxiety right now as people attempt to get their lives “back the way it used to be,” per CNBC.
And he added that airlines have dropped cancellation fees, so there’s no harm in making an early reservation. Fogel’s advice was to “go out there” and look at prices, and “if you have to cancel, you cancel,” CNBC reported.
“I do see prices going up in some places and certainly we’ve seen some airfares going up for the summer,” Fogel told CNBC, adding that travelers should make plans now because it will be more expensive later on. He said travel is “one of the greatest industries” in the world and people will “always” want to travel.
The industry took a beating last year amid the pandemic as almost all travel shut down. Airlines began to shed employees, and the industry teetered on the brink of bankruptcy as U.S. Congressional aid expired last fall. Passenger travel dropped 60 percent compared to the prior year, CNBC reported.
However, Fogel said there is cause for optimism, especially as vaccines continue to roll out across the world, according to CNBC.
The travel and apparel industries are gearing up for a comeback, with travel being fueled by people having mostly sat at home for the past year. That trend was especially visible when the U.K. lifted travel restrictions in late spring this year, immediately prompting a 500 percent boost for U.K. travel websites.
The demand currently isn’t back to full strength though. A U.S. Travel Association study found that only around one in eight Americans is planning a trip this year. Travel intentions haven’t been rising as of late either; the 12 percent from the study was a decrease from 16 percent willing to travel the week prior.