The numbers do tell the story, at least for travel.
A close look at the stats shows a big vaccine-fueled domestic travel surge and anticipation of a crowded summer travel season, with ticket prices already getting close to the expensive summer of 2019. Yet in many areas—international travel and hotel occupancy in many cities—the recovery hasn’t happened yet.
Here are some bright spots, as well as lingering areas of concern.
-35% or +715%
Take your pick. TSA airport screenings in the first 16 days of May have been down 35% compared with the number of people at airports in 2019—or up 715% compared with the same days in May last year. Either way, you can gauge progress through those numbers.
With international travel still so restricted (though the European Union on Wednesday took a step toward opening its borders to vaccinated tourists) and business travel still only a fraction of what it once was, you’re not going to get anywhere close to full 2019 restoration. And yet to only be down 35% without those two huge travel components shows just how strong the domestic travel surge is now that more people are vaccinated.