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Understanding the Economic Impacts of the 2024 Solar Eclipse

The 2024 Solar Eclipse unveiled more than just a spectacle across the country; it also created an opportunity for businesses to connect with consumers as they experienced the event and ultimately translate to economic value. From tourism to retail and transportation to infrastructure, this celestial event left an enduring mark on economics along its path of totality. With more than 30 million Americans living in the path of totality for the 2024 Solar Eclipse, this phenomenon is expected to bring in a financial boost of $6 billion to the U.S. economy. In this piece, we outline the economic impacts of the 2024 Solar Eclipse and what that means for the future financial landscape of the U.S. 

What Happened 

The latest solar eclipse took place on April 8, 2024, and had a totality of up to 4 minutes and 27 seconds. When the moon blocks some of the sun, it’s a partial solar eclipse, and when the moon lines up with the sun, blocking all its light, a total solar eclipse occurs. The path of totality stretched from Texas to the East Coast, including major cities such as Dallas, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Burlington, Vermont. The last total solar eclipse to occur in North America was in 2017, and the next one will not occur in the U.S. until August 2044. With the next total solar eclipse not taking place for another 20 years, many Americans traveled across the country to get the best watch party.  

Economic Impacts of the 2024 Solar Eclipse 


Tourism saw a huge boost due to the 2024 Solar Eclipse. One visitor booked a room at a local resort in Vermont over four years ago specifically to enjoy an unobstructed view of the solar eclipse. On April 7, all 900 rooms at Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vermont, were fully booked, compared to 80 bookings on the same day in 2023, so that travelers could enjoy an unobstructed view of the solar eclipse.  

Airbnb’s data from February showed a staggering 1,000% surge in search for accommodations along the path of totality for the solar eclipse in the U.S. This increased demand prompted hotels, vacation rentals, campgrounds, and other establishments to raise their nightly rates for the event (some by more than 200% a night), with plans to reinvest the additional profits into upgrading their infrastructure in the coming months, including accommodation facilities and other tourism attractions, to attract more visitors. Additionally, we expect that the influx of tourists into these various towns for the Solar Eclipse also translates into higher tax revenue for those local governments. Those funds can then be allocated to support public services, infrastructure development projects, and initiatives aimed at further enhancing tourism in the region in the near future. 


Flight reservations surged for the week of April 7, notably with Delta Airlines presenting an exclusive eclipse viewing experience at 30,000 feet on routes from Austin, Texas, to Detroit, Michigan. Concurrently, rental car bookings spiked 212%, with consumers traveling from all over the country. However, the heightened traffic congestion on major highways led to bottlenecks after the eclipse happened, causing travelers to consume more fuel and incur additional expenses at gas stations on their journey to and from the path of totality, navigating longer-than-usual travel times. As consumers make more stops at the pump, they are also more inclined to buy snacks, beverages, and other items, leading to a revenue spike in this area, too.   


Retailers, encompassing souvenir shops, convenience stores, and specialty outlets witnessed a significant uptick in sales during the solar eclipse. Given the imperative for Americans to safely view the eclipse in totality, the demand for special ISO-certified glasses also surged. These solar eclipse glasses, priced at an average of $2 each, generated over $100 million in sales solely for this product category. Notably, Warby Parker seized the marketing opportunity by offering complimentary glasses in all their stores from April 1 to April 8. Concurrently, other retailers introduced a myriad of special products and promotions tied to the eclipse, leveraging its popularity to entice more customers. These offerings included limited edition merchandise, bundled packages, and exclusive deals aimed at bolstering sales, with 7-Eleven allowing consumers to order a pizza for $3 and including a pair of eclipse glasses. 

Looking Ahead 

The 2024 Solar Eclipse wasn’t just an exciting spectacle, but it also left a profound imprint on the financial landscape of regions spread across the U.S. From fully booked accommodations to skyrocketing tourism revenue, the event brought a surge of economic vitality to hospitality businesses, transportation services, and retailers. This influx extends beyond immediate gains, with investments in infrastructure posed to elevate tourism offerings and sustain long-term growth for future visitors.  

The solar eclipse has prompted leaders to reconsider their strategic approach in light of unusual events. As they evaluate their business strategy, including financial projects, growth strategies for 2024 and beyond, and marketing plans, doing so without a structured approach can be challenging. To help companies prepare for this, they can look to approaches like Clarkston’s “Bring the Future to the Present” methodology that can help to stimulate growth and drive transformation. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to our team today. 

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