Americans returned to the road, skies and stadiums this year. But lately, the great reopening has lost some momentum.
Shows are being canceled, mask requirements are returning to casinos and locales, and consumers are reconsidering their travel plans thanks to a surge in Covid-19 infections. The reaction to the increased cases isn’t as dramatic as last year, but it has caused travel and leisure executives to notice a recent dip in business.
“It’s people concerned about Delta,” Glenn Fogel, chief executive officer of online-travel agency Booking Holdings Inc., said in an interview this week. The operator of websites like Priceline and Kayak said it saw a slight pullback in booking trends in July compared with June.
Travel and leisure executives described the most recent disruption as modest and likely short term, and they said they don’t plan material changes to their reopening plans. To many of them, it is important to prove they can operate normally in a world with Covid-19 and without the need for the more stringent virus-related restrictions seen earlier in the pandemic.
“If they require live events to go back to 50% capacity, that doesn’t work economically,” Jay Marciano, chief executive of concert organizer AEG Presents said in an interview. “Our current thinking is, if we take these proactive measures and demonstrate we’ve taken reasonable safety measures, our events can go ahead as planned.”