US Digital Travel Sales To Drop 44.7 Pct Amid Popularity Of Car Trips

US Digital Travel Sales To Drop 44.7 Pct Amid Popularity Of Car Trips

U.S. digital travel sales are estimated to plummet by 44.7 percent this year, according to an eMarketer post, and total sales are estimated to clock in at $115.27 billion compared to the $208.44 billion seen last year.

The company said it is not probable that digital travel will arrive at its pre-virus sales before 2022, and digital travel sales are forecast to arrive at $208.8 billion in the U.S. at that time. 

“As summer breaks approach, US consumers’ appetite for travel is starting to increase,” eMarketer Senior Analyst Jasmine Enberg said in the post. “But fears of infection, foreign travel restrictions and the desire to avoid a quarantine will keep most of those who pack their bags closer to home.”

Enberg continued, “Domestic travel, particularly car trips, will be the most popular form of leisure travel this year, and that will depress digital travel sales in 2020 as domestic trips tend to cost less than international travel.”

In a recent PYMNTS panel, AAA Northeast President and CEO John Galvin said the organization saw “robust” travel to Europe along with significant river cruise and ocean cruise business last Memorial Day. It also saw strong tour business — within the country as well as to Europe and to Canada — in addition to strong Disney and Universal business at that time.

Now, Galvin said is seeing and hearing from members is a focus on road trips in cars for short distances to the great outdoors — beaches, lakes and “areas where they can be outside.” In those places, travelers can feel safer than being in a large group or a confined area where they can maintain social distance easily.

He said the organization is seeing much more “discussion and activity around that type of trip certainly through the remainder of the summer.”

In the United Kingdom, eMarketer forecasts that travel sales will plummet by 46.2 percent this year, with total sales coming in at GBP16 billion compared to GBP29.7 in 2019.

eMarketer Senior Analyst Bill Fisher said in the post, “Even where there are green shoots, sales values are likely to be diminished as holiday-makers eschew international travel through 2020 in favor of ‘staycations’ within the UK.”