2022 Wedding Boom?
According to The Wedding Report (as reported by Pop Sugar), more than 2.4M couples will be saying “I do” this year. With so many wedding venues fully booked for Friday through Sunday so far, expect to see more weekday ceremonies as well as nuptials in less traditional settings like outdoor and even remote locations. Business Insider reports that smaller weddings that were popular during the pandemic are likely to be replaced by larger groups this year, although couples are spending their money differently and thoughtfully. Environmental impact is still a consideration, according to The Knot, so you may want to promote your fuel-sipping people-movers. Good news for transportation companies worried about the mountains of wedding gifts—Business Insider says that couples are requesting fewer physical items like household goods and more monetary contributions toward experiences. Gen Z (those born after 1997) are expected to crush the wedding market in 2022, and they are much more engaged with companies that share their socio-political values. Your social media feed and online reviews might just turn them off, so assume that they absolutely are checking. Also, don’t overlook Millennials and Gen X (and older) couples who may have different visions of their dream day but are equally invested in an unforgettable experience. Finally, if you haven’t signed up for a booth at a wedding show, you might want to consider ASAP because couples are shopping and booking now.
Sources: Business Insider, The Knot, Pop Sugar, Special Events, The Wedding Report
So, Those Jobs Numbers
Omicron, what? It turns out that the newest variant didn’t have much of an effect on job creation for the month of January after all as US employers added 467,000 jobs. Many economists were bracing for bad news, and the surprise announcement came just days after payroll processor ADP reported that private payrolls fell by 301,000 for the month. Numbers were also revised for December, with 510,000 jobs being added instead of the 199,000 reported in early January, closing out a solid year of employment. Cases of Omicron, which sickened millions, have fallen nationally since a mid-January peak and deaths are starting to decline. Europe’s wave, which began a few weeks prior to the US’ spike, is mostly over (as of press time), and travel is picking up with several countries on the continent relaxing their COVID testing and quarantine restrictions.
Sources: CNBC, ADP
The Bullish Versus the Bearish on Business Travel
The return of business travel has been hotly debated over the past two years as the recovery has been in fits and starts thanks to gun-shy companies worried about the latest COVID variant, but the major airlines are mostly bullish that pent-up bookings on the coporate side are imminent. The CEOs of the major airlines, including British Airways and United, recently shared their optimism during an event with travel company Skift. The business leaders noted that while previously strong leisure travel has dipped slightly over the past month due to Omicron, business travel is starting to come back—with smaller and medium-size corporations leading the way. But more than that, leisure AND business travelers are willing to pay a bit more for premium travel and they’re not balking at buying upgrades for added services, according to online travel site Hopper. The pricing boom has also been noted in the rental car market, which according to travel site Kayak is up nearly 200 percent from December 2019 (average daily prices are $81 per day compared to $46 daily in 2019).
On the other end of the spectrum, the three major credit card companies—Amex, Visa, and Mastercard—are less enthusiastic about the timeline of corporate travel recovery, especially for cross-border travel. While spending was up for all three, driven by domestic travel and entertainment, Amex and Visa leaders feel that travel within the corporate sector won’t be back to 2019 levels until at least 2024, with Mastercard expressing cautious optimism that it will return by the end of this year.
Sources: Kayak, Skift
Happy Birthday, Lincoln!
Read the luxury brand’s press release about how they are celebrating their centennial click here.
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