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Economic Impact by State, Region & Country Back TO RESEARCH AND TRENDS

Recovery Research Dashboard - August 2022

Visit California and third-party data sets

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(Date of Publication: September 9, 2022)

Summary compilation of statistics from a variety of Visit California and third-party data sets. The data are updated monthly and provide insight on the status of recovery across key indicators. A monthly highlights section provides an analyses of the state of travel recovery for California.

Visit California has incorporated new data sources and insights into the July dashboard, including: 

  1. Group Occupancy (Source: STR, Inc.): Group occupancy for top meeting and events markets in California and the U.S.   
  2. International Consumer Sentiment (Source: YouGov): Overall and country-level sentiment around COVID-19 and international leisure travel. 
  3. Share of International Arrivals (Source: NTTO/CIC Research): Overall and country-level share of arrivals based on First Intended Address (FIA).


MAJOR TAKEAWAYS

Public Health Indicators

  • The public health situation is improving as the recent wave of cases recedes nationally and new booster shots addressing Omicron variants become available this month. California’s COVID-19 case numbers continued their downward trajectory in August. 
  • Death counts in the state from COVID-19 were relatively flat through August. Weekly U.S. death counts were flat to declining towards the end of the month.
  • In California, 72% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (vs. 67.5% U.S.).

Consumer Indicators

  • Note: Coronavirus expectations and mindset for travel sentiment questions were not available in August. 
  • Sentiment turned more positive in August after somewhat negative-skewing travel sentiment arose in July. Inflation and travel costs remain a concern for the consumer but are not diminishing enthusiasm for travel.
  • Consumers in California and the U.S. overall were more likely to say they were excited to travel in the next 12 months and to learn about new destinations than they were in the prior month.
  • Gas prices and the cost of travel were cited as the main travel deterrents in the past 6 months.

International Indicators

  • A new international forecast will be available in October.
  • COVID-19 case rates in Asia Pacific countries remained elevated (potentially due to higher levels of testing) but have declined on month-over-month basis in nearly every market. China and South Korea were the only markets to see increases in case rates.
  • YouGov consumer tracking shows that consumer interest in international leisure travel is increasing, but consumers are expressing some hesitancy towards longer-haul overseas travel, particularly in several European markets. The price of travel continues to be the main barrier to travel.
  • Airlift and non-resident arrival numbers continued to show recovery in July data. France is a notable bright spot this summer in terms of arrivals for having recovered to 89% of 2019 arrivals in July.
  • California’s share of international arrivals based on First Intended Address (FIA) improved to 16% in July and is at 14% YTD (compared to a 16% share pre-pandemic.)

Lodging/Airline Indicators

  • After achieving pandemic-high occupancy rates and recovery levels in July, there was a slight pullback in the last weeks of August as the summer travel season closed out.
  • Weekly statewide occupancy rates started the month at 76% and closed at 67%, down 9% and 15% respectively from 2019.
  • ADR for the state remained above pre-pandemic rates for the month.
  • Air passenger traffic recovery marked a milestone in late August with 14.5 million passengers flying the week ending 8/28, down only 1% from the same week in 2019.

Economic Indicators

  • Economic indicators lag by a month.
  • Travel spending in California for June was $13.9 billion, down 3% from 2019. This was the sixth straight month of growth in spending.
  • The unemployment rate for California improved to 3.9% (and dipped slightly for the U.S. to 3.7%), indicating a tight labor market continues to exist despite recessionary concerns.
  • The Monthly Consumer Price Index for July showed an inflation rate of 8.5% across all categories (a slight decrease from June.) California gas prices also declined in August, averaging $5.33 for the month.


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