As we approach a new year after close to 2 years of non-travel, let’s delve into some travel trends predicted to unravel in 2022.
Travellers Undeterred by Omicron or Delta Variant
One thing for sure about travel in 2022 is the fact that travellers are holding an optimistic outlook on the possibility of global travel in the near future. A real good reason to explain the persistency of these travellers could be the fact that they have adopted a YOLO (You Only Live Once) mindset. 2020 and 2021 was a roller coaster ride, as news of global travel reopening teased at the fatigued hearts of travellers.
Eventually, travellers became numb to such news and instilled in them, a mindset that would defeat even the most potent variant of the virus. The nonchalant mindset is evidence that they have resigned themselves to the fact the virus is here to stay and the only way to go about it is to learn how to live with it. Hence, news of the Omicron virus has not deterred or slowed down travel recovery.
We mentioned this before, travellers are embracing last minute decisions on their trips. They are looking forward to impromptu activities on their trips, correction, they are even looking to take impromptu trips! In fact, 26 percent of surveyed US travellers mentioned that they are looking to go with the flow and 25 percent of them said they are willing to be more spontaneous.
Spontaneity also means travellers are looking at shorter booking windows. From this report by STR, we can see that 57% of bookings for hotels were made for the next 7 days, while 22% were for the next 2 weeks. This has a huge impact on hotels as 78% of respondents in this report reflected that good change or cancellation policies are important when it comes to deciding on which brand to go with.
Meaningful Travel… or not?
Travelling with the YOLO mindset also means that travellers are more willing to seek out new experiences when they travel. On top of that, they are willing to go all out and splurge on their vacation. This is especially true for travellers aged 18 to 34 as 80% of them said that they are willing to splurge so they can indulge in a hedonistic trip. Travellers over the age of 50 on the other hand, are not so convinced by the idea of a splurge-cation as only 56% of them are willing to go all out.
On the same spectrum, we can also see that there's an entirely different group of travellers. Instead of seeking meaningful experiences, this particular group has a unique perspective on travelling. From this Expedia report, the number one trip experience Americans are looking forward to is to relax and do absolutely nothing. It seems like the coronavirus has really taken a toll on them.
I think it is indisputable that the way we travel has definitely evolved and changed drastically with the pandemic. With such a devastating impact on the tourism industry, the narrative of “survival of the fittest” is not even relevant anymore. Rather, the crux lies in who can adapt the best. Businesses can only observe these trends before navigating and adapting their way to survival.