A new survey by Forbes Advisor says more than half (54%) of summer vacationers polled say the cost of trips is affecting their plans. Also, at least half (50%) reported that concerns about Covid and finances were big factors in planning vacations. Here in Greece, these travel 2022 numbers seem to be reflected on better, but still not good times for hosting American tourists.
The bottom line for season 2022 is, that the Forbes survey found that Americans planning to take a summer vacation this year will reduce their original travel budgets by an average of $1,636. But there’s a silver lining.
The Forbes results also reveal that as many as 40% of those surveyed intend to splurge on travel this year. Travelers headed abroad are said to be spending more than $7,600 on their trips, on average. The U.S. Travel Association’s data for the last month seems to back up the positive trend.
A report this month showed that May travel spending was up +3% over 2019. A first since the pandemic began. For Europe, however, the U.S. traveler outlook is not so rosy. The USTA reported that:
“While overseas visitation remained 43% below 2019 levels in April, European markets have vastly improved and are down just 34% from 2019 levels.”
Also, Squaremouth insurance data revealed Italy is the top destination chosen for summer travel this year based on their insurance choices. Greece came in right behind France, Canada, Mexico, and the UK among destinations Squaremouth clients bought policies for.
Finally, a CNN report features Mina Agnos, president of Travelive, an agency specializing in travel to Greece, who said “Europe is going to be inundated with American tourists.” Whether or not this is sales/marketing speak, remains to be seen. Perhaps the Travelive CEO was reflecting bookings on her service?
I spot-checked one of Santorini’s most popular adults-only luxury hotels, Santo Maris Oia to find availability, and there are good choices for up to four days there. I also checked Booking.com and found almost unlimited choices at a range of accommodations for up to a week. The Instagram below is from less than half an hour ago, and the fabulous beach bar Forty One, one of the island’s nicest is not booked solid.
Here in Crete, we’re not witnessing a sea of Americans on the shopping streets. Cruise passengers? Yes, but traditional vacationers seem to be from France, Germany, and the UK so far.
The U.S. Embassy in Greece is advising U.S. citizens to buy travel 2022 insurance on account of COVID-19 preparedness. Already, a drastic upshift in the numbers of new cases has hit the news here.