What happened

Shares of Expedia Group (NASDAQ:EXPE) jumped as much as 6.6% in trading Wednesday, as travel data appeared to be indicating a rise in consumer activity. Shares settled slightly midday, but were still up 5.2% at 2:35 p.m. EDT.

So what

The market is up today, with the S&P 500 rising 1.3% as of 3 p.m. EDT today, so travel stocks like Expedia are following the broad trend moving stocks higher. But there's some potentially positive data as well.

Person looking at a laptop displaying an airline-booking interface while holding a credit card

Image source: Getty Images.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said that the number of travelers going through checkpoints hit 353,261 on Monday, the most since March 22, and more than triple the volume of April's lows. If travelers are returning to the skies, it makes sense that Expedia's flight and hotel business would see a boost in demand as well. We don't know if that bump will last, but for now, the market is seeing positive signs for the industry.

Now what

Travel stocks were among the hardest-hit when COVID-19 began shutting down the economy, so it makes sense that those stocks are rising sharply as demand returns. What we don't know is how long it'll take for the business to return to where it was early in the year.

Today, investors are just excited there's some good news. But long-term investors will want to watch long-term data on how and where the travel industry returns to normal.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.