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Vacation Travel Is Finally Back To 2019 Levels Before Covid

Tourists at Patong Beach in Patong, Phuket, Thailand.

Tourists at Patong Beach in Patong, Phuket, Thailand.

Photographer: Andre Malerba/Bloomberg

US consumers are spending less on products and more on experiences — a trend that could ease supply snags and inflationary pressures, and help the travel industry this summer. 

For the first time since Covid halted movement around the world, leisure travel has returned to 2019 levels, according to a report released by the Mastercard Economics Institute. People are feeling more comfortable heading off to far flung adventures, despite a surge in cases and average airfares jumping 18% globally since the start of the year.