The South Beach in Miami, Florida was packed with people enjoying sunshine on Friday when the Memorial Day (May 31) holiday started in the U.S. Major streets were bustling with people until late at night, and empty seats were hard to find at street bars and corner restaurants. Few people were seen wearing face mask. This is what local media outlets including the Miami Herald presented in video clips.
Popular tourist destinations across the U.S. were overcrowded with tourists enjoying the holiday. Airports and roads in the nation were also busy as people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 went on vacation. Americans’ desire to travel has exploded on the first holiday since the lifting of mask mandate, and other quarantine measures including lockdowns, which started in March last year due to the pandemic.
According to the U.S. Travel Safety Administration, a total of 1.85 million took flight on Thursday. The number jumped to 1.96 million on Friday, the highest figure since the pandemic started. It is the first time that the number has surpassed 1.9 million since March last year. The number of daily air travelers has yet to reach the 2019 level of 2.5 million due to still limited international travelers, but the number of domestic travelers has rebounded to the pre-pandemic level. The Transportation Security Administration said it will hire 6,000 new employers in preparation for surging travelers.
The American Automobile Association said an estimated total of 37 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday period. According to GasBuddy, a gasoline price tracker, Americans are projected to spend 4.7 billion U.S. dollars on motor travel during the Memorial Day holiday. Janet McGee, AAA national spokesperson, said that this is called “revenge travel” in the industry, adding that Americans will travel more and spend more money using paid leave, which they could not spend.