The COVID-19 pandemic has made travel inadvisable at best, but all the more desirable for the homebound and stir-crazy. Many of us have been trapped inside or masked up at work since March, itching for a getaway. Analysts predict an impending wave of “revenge travel” as people’s pent-up restlessness reaches a breaking point.

A May 2020 Harris Poll survey of over 2,000 US travelers found that a desire for major purchases, like vacations and traveling, has only increased with the severity of the pandemic. The results reveal residents of states with the highest level of confirmed cases per capita are the most likely to travel in the immediate future. According to the survey, Americans are most comfortable traveling domestically and renting a car over flying and taking public transit. 

As our values and safety concerns shift with the pandemic, so will the way we travel. An uptick in RV rentals suggests two things: a likely decrease in public transportation and an enduring desire to travel despite the virus. While airlines have seen better days, this COVID-era travel trend could be a boon for RV dealers and concerned travelers alike. 

Camping World, for example, is seeing RVs fly off the lot. Used RV inventory is down 38% YTD, while new RV inventory is down 49%.

The average price for a used RV at Camping World has gone up 9% YTD. The average price for a new RV has gone up 8%.

Still, the RV industry isn’t immune to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Analysts at IBISWorld predict revenue growth could decline in 2020 due to travel restrictions and closed campgrounds. Demand is anticipated to stay relatively the same, but consumers may postpone discretionary purchases.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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