‘Stretch Season’: Extension of summer travel into fall declared
The tourism industry has been rapidly transforming and adapting as travel seasonality and consumer trip-planning behavior have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel industry experts have identified an opportunity to help bolster the travel industry and help Americans get back lost vacation time with “Stretch Season,” extending the traditional summer travel season well past Labor Day into fall.
There is huge pent-up travel demand, and as Americans become more comfortable with venturing out, combined with the continuation of remote work and learning, fall becomes an opportune time to make up for lost travel experiences. Remote work and learning also make midweek and week-long stays, times typically less expensive to travel than weekends, more feasible than in years past.
The latest results of an ongoing Travel Intentions Pulse Survey, which measures the impact of COVID-19 on American travelers’ attitudes and changes in travel behavior, point to the potential for Stretch Season to be lucrative for the hurting travel industry.
• 64% of travelers expect to take a leisure trip within the next six months.
• 54% of travelers say that they are more likely to travel in the fall this year than in previous years.
• Leisure trips planned for late July and August have shifted to a new period of fall leisure travel thanks to loosened cancellation policies and travel brands adapting quickly to the new marketplace.
• 73% of travelers feel safe traveling in their cars.
The season following Labor Day provides travelers an opportunity to extend their travel budgets during a more value-oriented period, especially in their own cities, regionally and in destinations that feature outdoor activities like beaches and parks. This new reality creates an opportunity to boost the travel industry and help stimulate economic recovery.