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Vaccines Arm Hotels, Airlines With New Power to Jack Up Prices

  • Shots bring optimism of pent-up demand for cruises as well
  • Fares are likely to increase following cuts to capacity
Some affluent travelers have begun making reservations for blow-out vacations.

Some affluent travelers have begun making reservations for blow-out vacations.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Updated on

The arrival of a coronavirus vaccine has the U.S. travel industry preparing for a rebound in demand following a historically terrible year. After months of deep discounts -- with hotels offering lavish perks and airlines dangling fares such as $21 from New York to Florida -- prices are set to make up at least part of the ground they lost.

Trip providers have slashed capacity, so any gains in bookings will tend to boost rates. And as vaccines take hold, they’re poised to unleash a torrent of pent-up vacation demand as people emerge from months of being cooped up at home. That’s leading to optimism within the industry for an upswing in the spring and summer, even as rates remain depressed and a recovery in business travel is a long way off.