Hybrids are in vogue in more ways than one owing to soaring oil prices. A developing summer phenomenon stemming from gas sticker shock has spawned a new kind of hybrid – a word – staycation. Unable and unwilling to venture far, or even out of their homes this summer, a new poll says that some “forty percent of Americans taking “staycations” this summer say they will grill outdoors more as part of their staycation plans, according to the latest Weber GrillWatch Pulse(TM). As a result, 46 percent of them say they will spend more money on grilling this year.
A staycation is defined as “a vacation that people spend at or near home,instead of a traditional vacation away from home”. While that may be great news for makers of grills it is surely not good news for the hospitality industry particularly in areas outside big destination cities such as San Francisco and New York. Adding to the potential woes of the hotel industry is a drumbeat of bad news for airlines including a steady shrinking of routes by major and even smaller carriers such as Air Canada which will cut up to 2,000 jobs, or 7 percent of its workforce and is slashing capacity like other major carriers beset by record fuel prices. Air Canada’s CEO sums it up with a grim prediction of further route cuts if fuel prices remain high. Such a trend can only contribute to fewer check-ins at the front desk.