Spring is here, the sun is out

AT: John W.C. Robinson

This past month, the sun was out more and opportunity knocked, so I was traveling a fair amount. Between a couple road trips on my Harley, flying out to Las Vegas for the Amusement Expo 2022 and just general observations, I’ve been able to confirm one thing for certain: travel — and tourism — are definintely back!


Driving friends and family to the airport, I observed lines of spring break vacationers literally pouring out the doors of the baggage drop and check-in area. At an airport where check-in is normally a walkup experience (even prior to COVID-19), that’s a clear indicator that people are ready to travel and get away for fun. 

I took a ride to Myrtle Beach and visited Funplex there. No matter the evening hour, roads were backed up with travelers to the area eager to reach their destination. And, at the park itself, no ride sat stagnant for much longer than it would take to load up the next cycle of riders.

On a random Tuesday evening, hotels in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains in the Carolinas were booked solid from travelers. 

Even with gas topping $4/gallon (and nearing $5/gallon in some areas), interstates were filled with travelers displaying license plates from across the continental U.S. and multiple king-sized RVs carried families to their latest vacation destinations.

When chillier weather hit randomly, it deterred no one. Despite clouds and a chilly breeze, Kings Island’s opening weekend saw a parking lot with a constant influx of cars and its front gates saw guests eager to return to the thrilling attractions within.

After years under the fears of the pandemic and  all that came with it, people clearly are ready to get out of the house — and get out of their local area — and enjoy the world around them, our industry’s attractions and travel once again. Tourism is back  and, even with obstacles still ahead, it does not look to be slowing down any time soon.

This article appears in the  MAY 2022 issue of Amusement Today.
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