Tourists boarding a plane. (photo via cunfek/iStock/Unreleased).
Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) found that ARC-accredited travel agency air ticket sales totaled $6.8 billion in July 2022, an increase of 69 percent from July 2021.
ARC’s data comes from over 10,500 agencies around the United States. The average round-trip air travel ticket price for domestic travel was $555 in July, an increase of 21 percent year-over-year, yet 8 percent cheaper than in June 2022, showing air prices are decreasing.
Yet even with decreasing prices, travelers are slowing down as we begin to enter the “shoulder season,” which generally begins when children begin going back to school. From June to July, total sales decreased 13 percent, passenger trips decreased 8 percent, domestic trips decreased 6 percent and international trips decreased 10 percent.
Compared with last year, international travel in July is up 50 percent, with total passenger trips at 19.9 million at an increase of 18 percent. Domestic trips in the U.S. increased 6 percent from July 2021.
“We’re seeing the monthly average ticket price decline earlier in the year than usual,” said Steve Solomon, chief commercial officer at ARC. “Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, we expect to see a continued increase in business travel as the summer vacation season winds down.”
In comparison with 2019, now considered a benchmark of pre-pandemic economic health, total sales in July 2022 is just $1.2 billion less than in July 2019. The month prior, however, saw the sales total exceed 2019’s level, at $7.9 billion as opposed to June 2019’s $7.8 billion in sales.
While sales continue to close in on pre-pandemic levels, total passenger trips still lag somewhat, demonstrating that higher ticket prices are fueling an economic recovery even though travelers aren’t quite traveling at the same rates as they did pre-pandemic. Passenger trips totaled 19.9 million in July 2022; in 2019, they totaled 25 million.
For the latest travel news, updates and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter.