“Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, had to get away.”
Consumers clearly want to start taking trips again, especially as more adults are vaccinated.
“We’ve had a phenomenal recovery,” said Vrbo president Jeff Hurst in an interview with CNN Business. “We could be looking at a real boom period for leisure travel.”
A resurgence in vacations could lift all boats in the sector. Hurst, who also serves as Expedia’s co-lead of marketing, said the company’s numerous other brands, which include Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz and Hotwire, are starting to bounce back too.
“More people are searching for core urban destinations that had a falling out during the pandemic. People are interested in going to Las Vegas again,” Hurst said, adding that there is a certain degree of freedom that people who have already gotten coronavirus shots now feel.
“People will start booking more flights and hotels and resorts will have a big comeback,” he said.
But there will be also some people that will want to drive a few hours to go to a rental house in the woods as opposed to flying to a beach or mountain resort and staying in a fancy hotel.
Hurst said Vrbo, which was founded in 1995 as Vacation Rentals By Owner, is off to its best start to a year in a quarter century in the United States, adding that people are also starting to book summer trips significantly earlier than usual.
Vrbo’s Hurst said that another trend he is seeing is the rise of the so-called “flexcation.” More people are willing to go away for longer periods of time.
The increased work from home trend and availability of virtual schooling is making it more desirable for people to be away from home for several weeks … or even months.
The jobs recovery may be gaining speed
The US jobs report is the big event on the calendar next week.
Investors will be looking to see if the economy can improve on the 379,000 jobs created in February. Figures for March will be published at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
How will investors react? Well … they won’t. At least not right away. US markets will be closed for Good Friday, which is not a federal holiday.
The unemployment rate now stands at 6.2% compared to last April’s peak of 14.7%. But there could be more improvement on Friday.
“With recent robust survey data pointing to upbeat business confidence, buoyed by the vaccine rollout and new $1.9 trillion stimulus measures, hiring is likely to have remained solid in March,” said analysts at IHS Markit.
Capital Economics said the labor market recovery probably “kicked into a higher gear” in March, driven by a rebound in leisure and hospitality hiring as states including Texas lifted restrictions on businesses and restaurants.
“The continued rebound in the OpenTable restaurant dining data suggests the recovery in employment at bars and restaurants is gathering pace, consistent with overall leisure sector employment,” senior US economist Andrew Hunter wrote in a research note.
Capital Economics predicts that 700,000 jobs were added to the economy in March, which would be the best month since September.
Tuesday: US consumer confidence; BioNTech, BlackBerry and Lululemon Athletica earnings
Wednesday: EIA crude inventories; Walgreens Boots Alliance and Micron earnings; Deliveroo IPO
Thursday: ISM Manufacturing Index; US jobless claims; CarMax earnings
Friday: Jobs report for March; US markets closed for Good Friday