Despite Cancelled Flights and Short-Staffed Hotels, Americans Are (Sort of) Traveling Again

Thanks to high gas prices, cancelled flights and labor shortages across the sector, the post-COVID travel recovery looks uneven.

The rear of a jet airliner as it takes off at sunset
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The travel industry is on the road to recovery after it was devastated by pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. But the rebound has been uneven, as some travel sectors still struggle while others are gliding back to normality.

Prior to the pandemic, the U.S. travel industry enjoyed 10 consecutive years of growth. But all that came crashing down when the pandemic hit in 2020. Direct spending on travel slumped to only 62 percent compared with the previous year, says the U.S. Travel Association, an industry trade group.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Sean Lengell
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

Sean Lengell covers Congress and government policy for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in January 2017 he served as a congressional reporter for eight years with the Washington Examiner and the Washington Times. He previously covered local news for the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. A native of northern Illinois who spent much of his youth in St. Petersburg, Fla., he holds a bachelor's degree in English from Marquette University.