Inflation is a major concern for Floridians, with many saying the higher cost of living has greatly affected their finances and forced them to change summer travel plans.
Inflation is a major concern for Floridians, with many saying the higher cost of living has greatly affected their finances and forced them to change summer travel plans, according to the latest statewide survey from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).
More than 85 percent of the 431 respondents said they are concerned or very concerned about the current rate of inflation, while 56 percent said the higher costs have hurt their family budgets. In addition, 63 percent of respondents who did travel this summer opted to stay within the Sunshine State.
“The results of this survey closely resemble those from our poll in May,” said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of FAU BEPI in the College of Business. “We see that due to inflation, Floridians who traveled for vacation this summer adjusted their plans. The good news is that those who traveled stayed close to home, which certainly helped Florida’s economy.”
Nearly 48 percent of respondents said they shortened a previously planned trip because of higher costs. About 62 percent said the higher gas prices made them rethink summer vacations.
Less than a quarter of those surveyed said their vacation travel plans were not altered by recent inflation. About 57 percent of respondents have changed cruise line or hotel brands specifically due to higher costs.
Peter Ricci, Ed.D., director of the FAU Hospitality and Tourism Management Program, said the high rates charged immediately after COVID-19 lockdowns are not sustainable.
He recommends Florida’s hospitality businesses restore consumer confidence by offering exceptional value over the next year.
“Pricing right to entice travelers with inflation in mind may help your business stand out from the competition,” Ricci said. “While discounting is not the answer to business profitability, value-building, whenever possible, will gain long-term fans for your hotel, restaurant or airline.”
The BEPI poll also revealed that roughly 68 percent of respondents did not travel for vacation this summer, with most saying the higher cost of travel or financial difficulties were the reasons why.
The survey was conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 5 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.72 percentage points. The survey, weighted by ethnicity, age, education and gender, was administered using both landlines and online data collection by Dynata. The polling results and full cross-tabulations are available here.