The holiday season is ahead of us, and it’s shaping up to be a busy one as summer’s travel surge will spill into winter, according to PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) annual Holiday Outlook report.
“We are still seeing that consumers value experiences and if they’re going to spend money, they’d rather spend it on things like travel and entertainment, and that their intent this holiday season is to absolutely travel,” Jonathan Kletzel, airline and travel practice leader at PwC U.S., told Travel + Leisure.
The report shows that 47 percent of consumers will hit the road and that they are spending 12 percent more — or about $510, on average — than they did last year, which Kletzel attributes to rising airfare prices and inflation. Millennials are the biggest travel spenders this holiday season ($670), followed by Gen X ($611) and Gen Z ($447).
However, not everyone is jetting off to a faraway destination. In fact, almost 60 percent of U.S. consumers plan to take a trip within their state, while 18 percent will travel outside of the country. This year, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean are trending among international travelers.
“Even though we saw an amazing recovery this summer, particularly in Europe, and now Asia, the geopolitics in these regions continue to be a little bit of a concern,” Kletzel explained. However, this is not the main issue that worries travelers the most. It is the rising cost of travel and gas.
“When fuel prices go up, a lot of other things go up related to travel,” he added. “Even if you booked your air travel six months ago, you don’t know what the rest of the trip is going to cost in the holidays. You don’t know where hotel prices are going to be if you haven’t booked it yet. You don’t know what your meal prices and entertainment prices are going to be, so I think there’s still a lot of uncertainty there.”
As a result, more than half of travelers — or 60 percent — plan to redeem rewards to book trips this holiday season, the survey has found.
You can read PwC’s full report at pwc.com.