The competition for travel dollars is heating up, and the U.S. is losing out.
Airlines and hotel chains in recent weeks have reported a surge in bookings for international trips — along with rising prices.
That’s a boon to companies with global offerings, but a new challenge for airlines, theme parks and hotels that are more focused within the U.S. as travelers increasingly opt for locations abroad at the expense of domestic destinations.
International airfare is averaging $962, up 10% from last year and 26% from 2019, according to fare-tracking company Hopper. Domestic airfare, meanwhile, is falling. Roundtrips within the U.S. are down 11% from last year and 12% from 2019 at an average price of $249.
The shift is being felt at hotels too: Room rates for Europe hotels averaged $148.88 in the first half of the year, up nearly 14% from last year, while U.S. hotel rates rose just 6% from the same period a year earlier to $154.45, according to data from CoStar, the parent company of hotel-industry analysis firm STR.
Nightly rates at luxury hotels in Paris, for example, rose more than 22% in the first half of the year from a year earlier, while luxury hotel rates in Orlando, Florida, rose just 0.2%, CoStar data show.