2021 U.S. traffic throughput is on the rise according to data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
On March 12, 2021, the TSA recorded 1,357,111 passengers traveling through the United States, making it the highest figure for 2021. It is also the highest throughput since the significant decline in traffic when the pandemic when declared on March 11, 2020, almost a year ago. Putting aside the expected pre/post holiday traffic spike, travel throughput in the United States has steadily grown throughout February and mid-March 2021. Between that time, the TSA noted travel throughput crossing one million passengers at least 15 times. The gain lines up with the mass vaccination campaigns being run across the United States and the rest of the world.
Even after dealing with fallout from more contagious strains of the virus, the vaccine roll out and added testing measures implemented globally have boosted confidence among travelers. According to the CDC’s vaccine tracking website, at least 11% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, while 21% have received their first shot (as at March 14, 2021). Scientists estimate that at least 50-80% of the population will need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
Data comparing first-quarter traffic shows travel habits mimicking that of the pre-COVID times in 2019, where traffic decline just after the close of the holiday season and picking up during the start of the winter holiday period. 2020’s figures show a dramatic fall-off as the virus spread globally at the start of the year.
Over the last year, those in the travel industry have tried to figure out innovative ways to build business and return to pre-pandemic travel figures, including offering long-term stay-cations and work-cations, building travel bubbles, offering pre and post travel testing, among other things. Now that multiple vaccines are being distributed, countries and organizations can work towards slowly easing restrictions and making travel easier for those who have been vaccinated.
[Featured Photo: MichaelGaida/Pixabay]