- There’s been a 12% average decrease in airfare and a 6% to 7% average reduction for train and bus travel due to the coronavirus, according to Omio, a travel booking site.
- Fifty-five percent of American travelers have canceled upcoming travel plans, primarily through May, according to Destination Analysts.Â
- Springing for travel deals over the next four months is likely a bad idea, due to extreme uncertainty around the business decisions of travel providers and policies of government officials.Â
Travel deals are emerging amid the chaos of the global coronavirus outbreak. Many people are probably wondering if now is the right time to buy, whether for an out-of-town jaunt or a big summer vacation.
The short answer is that it’s not worth it right now, according to experts. Travelers should hold off on making plans given the extremely fluid situation, they say.
“I know it’s awesome to be able to get a great sale on a destination you’ve always wanted to go to,” said Sara Rathner, a travel expert at NerdWallet. “But it’s a risk. Wait as long as you can.”
The coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year, has infected more than 183,000 around the world and killed more than 7,100.
The disease has had a dramatic impact on the travel industry. Airlines, hotel operators and others catering to tourists and business travelers have seen consumer demand evaporate, amid fear or necessity as governments have restricted travel to reduce the disease’s spread.
To that point, 55% of American travelers have canceled their travel plans, according to Destination Analysts, a tourism market research firm. Those trips have primarily been in the short term, through May.
Many airlines are trying to spur demand by reducing prices along the travel value chain, experts said.
There has been a 12% average decrease in airfare and a 6% to 7% average price reduction for train and bus travel due to the coronavirus, according to Boris Radke, the director of corporate affairs at Omio, a travel booking site that works with about 800 travel providers.
For example, a round-trip flight from New York to New Orleans runs as low as $66 today. The same flight would have cost $302 around 40 days ago, according to Google Flights.
A round-trip flight from New York to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, now costs as little as $346 for a July departure. That’s about $200 less than it was a month and a half ago, according to Google.
Before Italy announced a countrywide lockdown, luxury hotels in Rome were advertising rooms for around $50 to $70 a night, said Gabe Saglie, a senior editor at website Travelzoo.
“As early as a week ago, we were seeing some drastic fare-slashing going on and hotel price drops,” Saglie said.