Top Travel Trends of 2022
International tourism rebounded moderately during the second half of 2021, with international arrivals down 62% in both the third and fourth quarters compared to pre-pandemic levels.
We are living in an unpredictable era that requires lots of planning. It’s been two years since COVID-19 hit the world and we are still learning to live with it or even survive it. Destinations that come out on top post-pandemic are those that can rebuild air travel quickly and make it easy for tourists to visit. Having strict travel rules in comparison to easier areas can cause a disadvantage.
When it comes to governments, it’s a matter of weighing their options regarding the need to reopen travel or stop the spread of COVID. Finding an appropriate balance is a challenge in a world that moves at a rapid pace. However, we agree that making more responsible choices is important, hence picking a destination that relies heavily on tourism will mean your money will go towards rebuilding their economy – and giving locals desperately needed income.
The first 2022 issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer indicates that rising rates of vaccination, combined with easing of travel restrictions due to increased cross-border coordination and protocols, have all helped to release pent up demand. While international tourism bounces back, domestic tourism continues to drive recovery of the sector in an increasing number of destinations, particularly those with large domestic markets. According to experts, domestic tourism and travel close to home, as well as open-air activities, nature-based products and rural tourism are among the major travel trends that will continue shaping tourism in 2022.
Here are top travel trends hitting the tourism world in 2022…
Travelers have become more aware of how over-tourism was harming the destinations they love so much. Travelers are beginning to look for sustainable ways to travel that allow them to experience the world while helping preserve global destinations. According to market data on Statista, 81% of 29,349 adults surveyed in 2021, across 30 countries confirmed that they would like to stay in a sustainable resort. Google found that the search term ‘green hotel’ had increased and they now accredit hotels with a green eco-emblem next to their name during a routine search.
Lifetime trips/Bucket list Vacations
People are ready to book their bucket list vacations. COVID-19 illuminated the fact that there might not always be time to take the trip of a lifetime so they are taking them now. In 2022, expect to see many people booking trips of a lifetime, whether that is an extended world cruise trip for instance the Islands of Guernsey which is one of the most important and popular ports in the British Isles – the return of cruise ships is a hugely encouraging sign for tourism boost, an African safari or a long-awaited bucket-list adventure like a trek to Machu Picchu or climbing Kilimanjaro.
Not only have people not been able to travel, but they haven’t been able to see their relatives and friends the way they used to. Travelers are going to be hitting the road in 2022, and they are not going alone. Travellers missed out on key milestone moments last year, so in a bid to make up for lost time we will see ‘once in a lifetime’ trips taking precedent. People will want to put in the miles to reconnect and we’ll see big reunion trips with loved ones as people revaluate what’s important.
The unsung heroes – Tour operators/Travel agents
It’s never been more complicated to book and plan a vacation than right now. Pandemic-weary travelers don’t want to figure out all the hurdles of getting to their destinations. A good travel agent/tour operator can help you experience a place in a whole new way. Plus, there are new upcoming hotels and places to visit who can curate a list of new experiences for you to bring some excitement to your itinerary.
Even when the ever-changing quarantine guidelines and varying testing requirements no longer feel overwhelming, working with the right travel agent will ensure that your trip is hassle-free and full of experiences you may not have come across from your own research.
Less Staycations, More Remote Destinations
Domestic holiday appeal is wearing thin as the pandemic rolls ever onward. Few travellers prefer to stay closer to home rather than head further afield on their next international holiday. More travellers are now less likely to take a ‘staycation’ in 2022.
Wellness Trips/ Transformative Travel
In a pre-pandemic world, travel companies were promoting wellness experiences that were traditional, focusing on spas, gyms, healthier meal options, meditation sessions and yoga retreats. Granted, wellness tourism has long been focused on the spa industry, but times have changed; what wellness means has shifted, and what travelers are looking for has changed, as well.
“The term “transformative travel” has gained tremendous momentum since the pandemic entered our lives and impacted our businesses. People have realized that travel has a lot more value for our well-being and overall life, which is why more meaning and purpose is being placed on travel experiences.’’ Sahara Rose De Vore.