Travelers are getting hit by sticker shock this summer

Travelers are getting hit by sticker shock this summer

Hotel rooms? Up about 44% at the end of June compared to a year earlier, according to data from hotel research firm STR. Air fares? They were 24% higher in May than in the same month last year, according to the Consumer Price Index.

Even so, many of the prices are still below where they stood in the summer of 2019, six months before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic brought demand for travel to a near halt and sent prices plunging.

“Most of what people are seeing in price inflation is due to how cheap things were last year,” said Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics.

Most in the industry avoid making the year-over-year comparisons in the CPI. Instead they’re looking at the contrast with the 2019 price and booking levels.

But even some of those prices are back to near or even above 2019 levels, thanks to the strong rebound in demand. For example, STR shows the national average for US hotel rates in the week ending June 26 back to 99.5% of where they were at the same time in…

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