Besides football, this years’ Thanksgiving dinner conversations might be centered around inflation, workforce, supply chain, and the Covid-variant speed bumps. It’s the start of the holidays and we are all ready for the mood lift so here is why I am still very enthusiastic about the travel industry in 2022.
Once Again, The Cities Are Back on Top
From the Golden Gate Bridge to the Empire State Building, the cities are roaring back. This year’s Thanksgiving festivals from Thursday through Sunday are predicted a 2.7% higherin estimated attendance than the pre-pandemic period. In addition, large cities will see the comeback of popular leisure events such as the Thanksgiving Parades and early Christmas Festivals. The Thanksgiving events in urban areas have been a turning point in consumers’ changing travel patterns.
Source: Zartico Estimated Festival Attendance, November 25-28, 2021
Rowdy Times Through Sports
America's fascination with sports has always been undeniable. Through the pandemic, sports events have continued to rise in popularity, in both urban and rural destinations. When it comes to attending sports events, we estimate that this year’s sports-events attendance during November 25 through 28 will be 0.4% higher than the pre-pandemic levels. Football continues to be part of our Thanksgiving tradition. Here are the top five college football games on our radar to watch this year for record breaking attendance:
Vanderbilt Commodore vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines
Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Texas Longhorns
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers
Travel Makes Social Connections
This year’s Turkey Day represents a significant demand surge in leisure travel for family and events. Estimated festival attendance on November 25 will be the 7th highest day across the country in 2021. Whether we celebrate Thanksgiving at home or out of town, travel demand surge indicates we are ready to be in person with our friends and family.
Expect consumers to create memorable moments to make social connections with friends and family without the virtual realm. You may have heard about Alphabet’s Everyday Robot Project, which aims to have robots help humans in their everyday lives. I love tech but I hope the everyday robot will never prepare the Thanksgiving meal in the future. Technology can’t replace the human touch, and this year travel will become a vehicle for navigating the digital frontier.
Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. Time to move my fellow travelers.