15 States With the Biggest Drop in Travel Spending During the Pandemic

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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

For the first two years of COVID-19, the shifting landscape around the pandemic affected travel more than almost any sector of the economy. Concerns about the spread of the coronavirus and changes in travel restrictions and public health guidance led many would-be travelers to hold off on trips.

As a result, industries like air travel and lodging saw much lower than usual demand throughout 2020 and 2021, and closely related businesses like restaurants and arts, entertainment, and recreation facilities also suffered. But according to recent data from the U.S. Travel Association, many indicators like hotel room demand and overall travel spending are at or near pre-pandemic levels.

To determine the states with the biggest drop in travel spending during the pandemic, researchers at Filterbuy calculated the percentage change in air transportation and accommodations spending from 2019 to 2020. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater total change in air transportation and accommodations spending from 2019 to 2020 was ranked higher. The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’s Personal Consumption Expenditures.

Here are the states with the biggest drop in travel spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.

15. Michigan

Flint, Michigan
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Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -56.1%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$3,083,300,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $242

Per capita travel spending (2019): $550

14. Oregon

Hiking in Portland, Oregon
Rajat Chamria / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -56.3%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$2,019,100,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $369

Per capita travel spending (2019): $850

13. Alaska

Alaska's Denali National Park
Martina Birnbaum / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -56.5%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$572,500,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $603

Per capita travel spending (2019): $1,385

12. Maryland

U.S. Naval Academy
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -56.8%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$2,876,200,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $361

Per capita travel spending (2019): $838

11. Georgia

Kennesaw, Georgia
Demetrius C / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -56.8%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$5,658,600,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $402

Per capita travel spending (2019): $939

10. Minnesota

Victoria, Minnesota
Susan Rydberg / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -57.3%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$1,751,400,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $230

Per capita travel spending (2019): $542

9. Washington

Bellevue, Washington
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Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -57.4%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$5,375,100,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $519

Per capita travel spending (2019): $1,230

8. Virginia

Arlington, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -58.4%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$3,757,900,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $311

Per capita travel spending (2019): $754

7. Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
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Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -58.9%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$555,300,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $366

Per capita travel spending (2019): $890

6. New Jersey

Jersey City, New Jersey
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -58.9%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$4,263,100,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $334

Per capita travel spending (2019): $814

5. Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
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Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -59.2%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$4,770,200,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $258

Per capita travel spending (2019): $630

4. Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
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Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -60.0%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$7,281,100,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $385

Per capita travel spending (2019): $957

3. Connecticut

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -60.5%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$2,426,500,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $446

Per capita travel spending (2019): $1,125

2. Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Roman Babakin / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -61.8%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$5,216,300,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $467

Per capita travel spending (2019): $1,224

1. New York

Autumn leaves in Rochester, New York
NewSaetiew / Shutterstock.com

Percentage change in travel spending (2019-2020): -64.2%

Total change in travel spending (2019-2020): -$14,195,700,000

Per capita travel spending (2020): $409

Per capita travel spending (2019): $1,136

Methodology

Man using too much data on his phone, tablet and laptop
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The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Personal Consumption Expenditures.

To determine the states with the biggest drop in travel spending during the pandemic, researchers calculated the percentage change in air transportation and accommodations spending from 2019 to 2020. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater total change in air transportation and accommodations spending from 2019 to 2020 was ranked higher.