As demand for travel has flirted with pre-pandemic levels this summer, thousands of flight delays and cancellations have driven travelers to hit the road, according to a press release.
Location data company Arrivalist predicts more than 44.7 million Americans will travel via automobile during the upcoming Labor Day holiday (Thurs.-Mon.). This is 4.2% increase from 2021 levels and exceeds 2019 Labor Day travel by 0.3%.
“Finding accurate trending data in volatile travel markets is difficult,” said Cree Lawson, Arrivalist’s Founder and CEO. “Constant changes in location data collection practices make it even more challenging. We’re excited to give the industry trending data it can trust in the Daily Travel Index.”
“Despite industry-wide changes in data collection practices, data from Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index continues to provide reliable year-over-year trending insights,” states the release. “The trending data is so reliable, in fact, that it can be accurately used to project upcoming holiday road trip patterns. Over the last 3 years, for example, Arrivalist’s Fourth of July travel forecast only varied from actual holiday travel by 0.7%. Accurate travel forecasts are crucial to travel marketers to as they allocate resources during the traditional peak seasons like Labor Day.”
When determining this year’s Labor Day predictions, Arrivalist considered the following:
- Sentiment toward travel and COVID-19. Last year, the COVID-19 Delta variant played a significant role in reducing Labor Day travel. Currently, the virus has minimal impact on travel.
- The impact of gas price reductions over the last few weeks
- Reduced growth in inflation
- Influx of flight cancellations
“Travel continues to be in full swing,” said Balakumar Raghuraman, vice president of analytics and innovation. “Historically, Labor Day is the peak travel period for road trips. With nearly one in four flights being delayed so far this year, we expect even more travelers to hit the road rather than the skies.”
How the Data is Calculated
Arrivalist’s methodology is based on a representative balanced panel of GPS signals representing road trips taken specifically in cars (excluding travel by air). A trip is measured as one where the user has traveled a minimum of 50 miles and spent a minimum of two hours at the destination. Commuter travel or other frequently repeated trips — i.e., cargo deliveries or other reoccurring activities — are excluded from the Daily Travel Index.