With scenes of packed spring break crowds in Florida making headlines in recent days, there is growing evidence that Americans are itching to hit the road. A new CivicScience survey finds four in ten U.S. adults say they are comfortable traveling right now with nearly a third (31%) saying they will probably be ready for travel in a month or so. The recovery of the travel market could not come quick enough with a new report showing global travel ad spending dropped 60% in 2020.
An analysis of 23 travel companies by Ad Age found global ad spending was $6.6 billion in 2020, down 60% compared to the $16.69 billion spent in 2019. The decline was on par with the 62% falloff in travel revenue at the companies, the review showed.
Among the various sectors, Ad Age says worldwide ad spending by hotels dropped 63% to just over $1 billion, airline advertising was down 51% to $412 million, car rental advertising fell 62% to $166 million, casino advertising fell 58% to $158 million, cruise line ad spending was off 52% to $772 million, theme park advertising was down 72% to $78 million, and spending by various travel services such as Booking.com and Expedia, was down 61% to $4 billion.
Entercom CEO David Field said this month that he sees segments like travel and leisure as core sources of revenue for radio. “We specialize is sort of the go places and do things business,” he said, adding that the pandemic recovery raises several still unanswerable questions. “Are theme parks going to come back or are people going to go back to games, or are nightclubs going to reopen? Are people going to travel? And I think while there are individual businesses going through very difficult times, ultimately those businesses come back,” said Field. On Entercom’s quarterly call with investors, Field said he is excited about the “pent-up demand” in the economy. “And I think true optimism about returning to normal here before too long,” he said.
The U.S. Travel Association also reported this week that domestic travel spending totaled $680 billion last year, a 42% decline from the year before. They are pushing Congress to advance stimulus measures to drive travel demand as well as reopen the U.S. borders to international tourists.