Renee: The role of travel and tourism in our recovering economy

Guest commentary by Dan Rene for

Two years after the pandemic canceled many people’s vacation plans, travelers are looking for new experiences and exciting destinations this summer.

But there is one more major obstacle to our return to normal: gas station prices, soaring airfares and inflationary pressures affecting hotels and resorts.

However, these rising costs do not mean a death sentence for travel plans. Indeed, cost-effective travel by road, sky or sea will help combat rising prices – so travelers can get their island getaway while helping the economy recover here and abroad.

how? The tourism and travel industry is a major economic driver. Before the pandemic, the total economic output generated by this industry in the United States was over $1 trillion and was supported by 9.5 million tourism-related jobs.

These costs affect not only airlines and hotel groups, but also shops, restaurants and attractions. Thousands of families supported by travel and tourism rely on this discretionary spending, which distributes funds between businesses and governments at even the most local levels.

The tourism industry fulfills its role in promoting domestic and international tourism by providing consumers with a huge market. By using metasearch platforms, online travel agencies and short-term rental sites, consumers can see all their choices in one place.

This causes airlines, hotels, car rental companies and short-term rental operators to compete for the best prices, services and offers.

These transparent online arenas are essential to combat the flash pricing effect. With the ability to comparison shop, consumers ultimately lower prices. This gives them the power to choose travel options that maximize value while minimizing cost. And the less travelers spend on transportation and accommodation, the more money they can spend in their travel business destination.

Besides using online marketplaces—Expedia, Vrbo, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Airbnb, and, to name a few—there are several ways consumers can keep travel plans affordable while also positively impacting the economy.

Instead of considering that scenic hotel or direct flight, beat the escalating prices by booking early to ensure your spot is secure and costs don’t increase. You can also consider booking a fully refundable rate or hotel room to protect your funds if an unexpected situation derails your trip.

Remaining flexible in terms of location and time can also significantly affect the price.

Going to an area where it’s off-season for tourists can do wonders for your wallet. Have a specific experience—and budget—in mind?

Head to a short-term rental platform like Airbnb, where you have more control over the style, amenities, location and theme of your accommodation.

Although inflation has significantly affected all industries, including travel and tourism, the current surge in goods and services does not mean that consumers should stay at home.

Taking a proactive approach to planning and using online marketplaces to compare and contrast options provides travelers with trips perfect for their interests and tighter connections.

In this way, the tourism industry will continue to recover while helping to rebuild our economy.

About the author

Dan Rene is the Director of Communications for the Travel Technology Association. He wrote this for

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