Despite high gas prices, traffic to hotel and accommodations websites suggests consumers still plan to travel this summer.
- Similarweb data on U.S. hotels and accommodations shows a holiday travel boom, despite high gas prices, high covid transmission rates and inflation.
- Traffic to hotel and accommodation websites is up 32% over the past three months (Feb.-Apr.)
- April 2022 saw a 23% rise in website traffic over the prior year; May data also looks strong
Customer Behavior Seems Unaffected by High Gas Prices
With gas prices hovering around $4.60 a gallon on average in the U.S., and considerably higher in many states, Americans are understandably concerned about fueling up the car this Memorial Day. However, Similarweb data suggests that hotels and accommodations in the United States are not seeing the impact of that pinch in consumers’ wallets. A look at traffic to leading hotel and accommodation websites from January 1 through May 25 shows an upward trend, undaunted by rising gas prices; this trend is depicted in the chart below.
Traffic to hotel and accommodation websites rose 32% year over year from February through April and was up 23% in the month of April versus the prior year. May looks strong as well, with the upward slope in the chart above implying continued growth in website activity.
Customer Engagement Looks Stable for Hotels and Accommodations
A look at customer engagement shows stable trends in visit duration (how long customers spend on a website, on average), bounce rate (the number of customers that leave a website after only visiting one page) and pages per visit. We think these stable trends show that, despite concerns about inflation in general and high gas prices in particular, Americans remain determined to travel this Memorial Day. The lack of any deterioration in time spent on hotel and accommodation websites, how many pages they visit, or how quick they click off a site implies that consumers remain engaged and interested in travel for the summer, despite the pain in their wallets from general inflation and the higher cost to fill up gas tanks.
Conversion (visits that end up in a revenue-generating transaction) Also Remains Strong
A look at conversion for three leading hotel and accommodation brands (Airbnb, Hilton, and Marriott) shows strong trends over the past six months. This implies that demand for travel remains robust going into the Memorial Day weekend. However, the data does not show whether customers are flying or driving to these destinations, or whether they are driving to closer destinations than they might have otherwise.
Despite painfully high fuel costs, Americans seem undeterred in their plans to travel throughout the country this Memorial Day weekend. It seems that Covid concerns are in the rearview mirror, and Americans are eager to get back on the road.
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