Americans stay away from great outdoors amid rising petrol costs

Last summer, Arches National Park in Utah was often seen as the “mall on Black Friday” by park ranger Karen Garthwhite. Visitors eager to soak up the park’s towering red rock formations were forced to turn around and look for parking.

There are now parking spaces available. “What’s slowing down is not just arches,” Garthwhite said.

After a summer in which national parks flourished as epidemic holiday destinations, places that broke visitor records are experiencing a decline this year. The decline reflects the intricate and complicated compromises facing U.S. travelers, with fuel prices rising to record levels while international destinations reopen as the Corona crisis eases.

Of the 19 national parks that set visitor records in 2021, 14 experienced year-on-year declines starting in May, according to the latest National Parks Service data. The number of visitors to all parks has dropped by more than 5% year-on-year, but still remains slightly above 2019 levels.

The rise in visits last summer led to Rise in prices for short-term remote rentals And narrow spelling for parks like arches, where there was overcrowding, Gareth White said. Arches and others have implemented reservation systems, which may have reduced the number of tourists this year. But Gareth White noted that there are also declines in parks near arches that do not have similar systems.

Despite a number of record-breaking parks, 2021 visits across the national park system, which also includes landmarks besides historic sites, were still below the pre-epidemic total, said Naaman Horn, a spokesman for West American parks. But economic factors, cobid and weather may affect numbers this year.

The parks, many of which sit in remote alcoves of America, are popular destinations for road trips. By 2021, more than half of visitors to national parks traveled more than 200 miles, according to data from the American Travel Association, the trade group.

Consumers have preferred to travel by car for the past two years because of concerns about Cubid, said Lindsay Rushka, a travel and hospitality analyst at Morning Consult. But consumers who shift their focus to rising prices may be less likely to motivate, she said.

Average fuel prices rose above $ 5 per liter in June, according to data from the American car company AAA.

Families typically go on more summer trips in the U.S., said Jeffrey Hill, a professor at Columbia Business School, but “you’d expect fuel prices to reduce that to some degree.”

Consumers are increasingly willing to use transportation other than cars, with 52 percent of adults saying they are comfortable flying compared to 42 percent a year ago, according to Morning Consult data. This trend is consistent with Lowest levels of concern On Covid since the research company began tracking in January 2020.

This is consistent with Delays, flight cancellations and manpower shortages In airlines, Hill said. These problems, coupled with rising airline ticket prices, may deter some travelers.

Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California. Fewer people visit U.S. National Parks this year © Bloomberg

Consumers also have more options when it comes to travel destinations.

International travel has increased drastically compared to last year, with a 156.8% increase in the number of international passengers compared to a year, according to the International Trade Administration.

“We have a huge, huge demand so people are taking the trips they wanted to take and going to a number of different places, not just to outlying places,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, vice president of public affairs and policy at the U.S. Travel Association.

The increase in international travel both in the U.S. and abroad will have a mixed impact on national parks, Barnes said. While local travelers turn to other destinations, international tourists may return.

During a recent archery trip, Ranger Garthway heard at least seven different languages. “We’ve seen a slight drop in visits, but there are still a lot of people who enjoy the park every day,” she said. “I do not see it changing.”

Americans stay away from great outdoors amid rising petrol costs Source link Americans stay away from great outdoors amid rising petrol costs

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