Travelers waiting in the security line at the airport (Photo via Eric Bowman)
New data showed inflation in the United States has risen at the fastest rate since 1981, and the travel and tourism industries have already felt the force of the changes.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 8.5 percent in March year-over-year and 7.9 percent in February, the fastest jump registered since December 1981.
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In an infographic from Yahoo Finance, the Federal Reserve revealed prices over the last year have increased for several travel-related industries, including hotel rooms (25.1 percent), rental cars (23.4 percent), restaurants (6.9 percent) and recreation (4.8 percent).
As part of the inflation, airline fares climbed by 10.7 percent on a monthly basis and by nearly 24 percent over last year, due in part to rising fuel costs and increased demand for travel. The CPI found that gas prices rose 18.3 percent month-on-month in March.
Travel demand has roared back, with some airlines reporting the highest ticket sales in their history. U.S. passenger traffic has averaged about 89 percent of the pre-pandemic levels since mid-February, according to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) data.
The problem is that jet fuel prices have skyrocketed by more than 30 percent in the last month, a cost many carriers have decided to pass on to their customers, with average fares climbing by as much as 100 percent compared to 2021.
Economists have voiced concern that rising fares and inflation could impact travel spending.
In March, a study of travel advisors revealed rising travel costs were not having a discernible impact on bookings and not resulting in clients canceling or amending their vacations.