2022 Travel Trends

As travel becomes more accessible for fully vaccinated travelers this year, destinations are expecting a boost in visitors and a range of changes to travel habits that are going to be unique to 2022. In this blog, we outline these changes and give you our thoughts on 2022 travel trends

Note: The travel landscape is still uncertain with the start-stop nature that we have become accustomed to still somewhat present. It is, therefore, wise for travelers to only purchase vacations that are refundable or ones that contain free date changes.

Without further ado, here are the 2022 travel trends:

2022 Travel Trends

Once in a Lifetime Trips, Splurgecations, and Reunions

Once in a lifetime, trips will be the main highlight of 2022. With the future still ambiguous, individuals want to tick things off their bucket list and make up for lost time. In that regard and according to Essentialist, African safaris and Asian destinations will be the top destinations. The once-in-a-lifetime theme also has some heavy “splurgecation” connotations tied to it. That is, the instances where vacationers are going to spend extravagantly is expected to be incredibly high.

Further to the above, travelers will be more daring with the activities they engage in. Whether sleeping under a starry sky, traveling alone, engaging in an adrenaline-filled activity, or having an unforgettable night out — travelers want to engage their senses fully this year. Travelers will still document their vacation so that it can be broadcasted on social media. But, travelers want to be more present this time around. This new wave of enlightened travelers was birthed during pandemic days where isolation and the digital world were the constants. The tangible real world is now the traveler’s salvation and they intend to experience the best there is when it comes to sensory pleasure and experiences that can drive them closer to the present moment.

Individuals are now not so hesitant to visit large cities instead of the usual exclusive and isolated experiences. Instead, what is becoming key is the experience that is offered by the destination and the uniqueness that envelops it. This ties further to the previous point as individuals decide not to seek only picture-perfect destinations but an actual experience.

Moreover, the pandemic has also directed the stage lights towards what’s truly important to people: their family and loved ones. As such, reunion trips are expected to spike. Add to that all the pent-up wanderlust and adventure-seeking that regular travelers have been holding on to, and you have a recipe for extravagant once-in-a-lifetime reunions.

Pindrop Travel

Inverse to the city travel trend and according to a recent survey conducted by Original Travel, the need for peace and quiet is near to unanimous among travelers. As such, the brand pioneered a new itinerary called Pindrop Travel. The idea is simple: destinations so peaceful and quiet you can hear a pin drop. The itinerary boasts selections from remote living areas to exquisite and isolated vegetative landscapes (such as the Princess Mononoke Forest of Japan) and isolated yoga retreats in the mountains. Pindrop travel and services similar to it are expected to attract many patrons this year.

Work Aways and Wellness Retreats

Similar to the previous section, but not quite so. Due to the wide acceptance of remote work brought on by the pandemic “Work Away” holidays or working remotely while in a vacation destination are projected to become widespread. Fast Wi-Fi and self-catered accommodations are the go-to key package features for those aiming to attract this segment. 

As millions of people worldwide began to quit their jobs and pursue new career paths during the pandemic, a journey of self-development and self-discovery was (and still is) being embarked on en masse. This trend has given fuel to the rising flame of self-development tourism and wellness tourism.

Multiple Trips and Longer Stays

Another trend from Discover the World states that travelers are going to spend exponentially more time on a trip but decrease the number of times they go on trips. As such, slow travel packages that cater to this increasing need will yield good results for the destination marketer and the traveler who wants to deeply familiarize themselves with a destination. Therefore, month-long packages with self-catering accommodation options will become a widespread reality this year. 

Similar to the above point, another expected trend is that people will hit many destinations in one vacation to make up for previous vacations not taken.

Aviation Trend

According to many aviation industry experts, it will take global aviation at least two more years before it resumes to its normal pre-pandemic state. Enter the rise of private jet flights. Those who have tried private flights during 2021 for the first time are likely to continue to do so this year. Not only does this minimize the risk of infection, but the bespoke fashion that the service is offered by helps in streamlining the ever-changing country entry requirement processes brought on by the pandemic.

Gulf Reps

Gulf Reps is the leading travel and tourism representation company in the Middle East, with over 60 years of regional and industry experience. We have served clients on six continents, delivering transformative results to everyone from hoteliers to tourism boards. Our mix of world-class marketing expertise, PR specialists, unparalleled connections and relationships, and eclectic mix of marketing channels makes working with Gulf Reps the only sure way to drive Middle Eastern tourists to your destination.

To find out more about our services, you can call us at +971 (0)4 703 6333 or write to us at sammy@gulfreps.com

5 Technologies that Will Revolutionize Travel

The moment you think humanity has outdone itself and produced another groundbreaking innovation that won’t be topped, at least for a good while, you’re forced to think again. It seems like we’re waking up to crazy new inventions every morning as we inch closer and closer to a reality that cannot be compared to anything but a science fiction film. In this blog, we aim to outline the top 5 travel technologies that are going to make your favourite fictional film non-fiction. The blog is divided into two parts: a) Future Travel Technologies and b) Travel Technologies Available Now.

Future Travel Technologies

1) The Metaverse

Being our favourite on the travel technologies list, it’s fitting that we start with it. Announced in early November by none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the world witnessed in disbelief as Mark presented the concept for what most people predicted was set for aeons from now. The augmented reality that will be accessible through smart glasses is set to revolutionize how people connect online. By wearing smart glasses, individuals will be able to enter a real-time virtual version of a familiar environment such as their workplace or an entirely new digital world — all from the comfort of their home.

When it comes to the travel industry, the same infrastructure that is supposed to make working from home more effective can be used by tourism industry staff (imagine hologram tour guides) and by travellers themselves. Although some detractors guess that the Metaverse‘s effect is going to be a far cry from beneficial. Their claims that individuals opting into the virtual world instead of purchasing real-life vacations — or even simple outdoor living, is a bit far fetched, and at most, highly romantic of dystopian sci-fi fantasies. On the contrary, the Metaverse actually has a lot to offer the travel industry, especially when it comes to sharing travel experiences with those close to us. At pandemic times like these, for example, the Metaverse can also be used to reduce contact between vacationers and tourism staff by the latter’s use of hologram versions of themselves. In short, the Metaverse will revolutionize:

  • How travellers can test destinations or even hotels before travelling.
  • How they can navigate their way around a location once they are there.
  • How they can share their experiences with others.

i) Think VR Familiarization Trips Except More Intense

VR familiarization trips usually come in the form of a recorded video of a destination that users can watch on a screen or VR device while being able to control the angle from which the camera is shooting. Through this, they can glimpse every angle of the recorded area as the video proceeds. It’s as if the person’s face was the camera, and wherever their face looks is what is displayed. With the Metaverse, however, an individual can jump into the desired location, move freely and see exactly what individuals in that location see at that moment.

ii) Using the Metaverse for Navigation

Instead of pulling out a device to continuously look down at, to find your way around an area, the Metaverse has the potential to allow the environment itself to speak to you and give you on-site directions. Picture a virtual tour guide robot that hovers around and points you in the right direction. Or even picture the very arrow displays found on map apps on your phone, popping up in front of you in real life and highlighting the way. In the same way your environment in the Metaverse can direct you, it can also inform and educate you. 

Although Oculus VR headsets are getting lighter and less cumbersome as time proceeds, walking around with one of these wrapped around your head may be a little odd. Luckily there are talks of making a more user-friendly headset and even an eye lens version in the not so distant future.  

iii) Sharing Your Trips with Those Close to You

Imagine that you’ve travelled to France, but a family member who wanted to come along couldn’t make it. With the Metaverse, that family member can be with you as a hologram and see everything you see. And for those who aren’t ready to actively engage in the vacation as an overseas hologram, parts of the experiences can be exported to them. They can then view these 3D pieces of virtual art from the comfort of their home. Furthermore, this platform will also make playing a game of ping-pong on the streets of Tokyo with your friend who is on the other side of the globe a stunning reality.

2) Vertical Take-off Air Taxis (eVTOL)

The long-anticipated moment where an aeroplane starts closing into its final destination and the geographical and infrastructural features of the region begin to become apparent is surreal. The few minutes right before landing are the most entertaining. It looks like that is a sight travellers can expect to get used to seeing. According to Uber, air taxis will be available for everyone in the near future. Getting a birds view of your vacation area every time you are out and about may be within our proverbial doorsteps.

Travel Technologies Available Now

3) Smart Robots

Now for something a bit closer to the present moment and one of the travel technologies already in service across some parts of the world. Robots are starting to replace humans as receptionists in hotels and other similar jobs. The advantages they offer range from their being available 24/7 and their speed in completing processes and accepting requests as compared to a human. True, unemployment is already an issue, but these robots have proven to be a valuable safety measure in current times. Even beyond that, a mix of both a human and robot workforce will produce great synergy. This way, smart robots can carry out the tasks that humans deem troublesome or risky, while humans focus on more pertinent tasks.

Further to the first point, some robots are being designed to serve food and complete other catering tasks. These smart pieces of aluminium will also come in handy when it comes to engaging with guests through different languages. This is because a singular bot can learn many languages and therefore be fit to serve all nationalities. Smart robots can also aid in pinpointing customer preferences by collecting customer data and utilizing it for a better customer experience and much more.

4) The Ambassador Interpreter from Wavery Labs

“Clip Ambassador to your ear and start chatting.” Ambassador is about half the size of your palm and can clip onto either of your ears. Turn the device on and translate other languages as you hear them in real-time. Alternatively, you can speak, and the device will translate your words to listeners. Coming with 20 languages and over 40 dialects, the Ambassador is set to revolutionize communication for travellers. Now all you have to worry about is not being part of any cultural misunderstanding. Maybe Wavery Labs can make guides for these cultural ques on their next release.

5) Smart Luggage

Ranging from suitcases that simply allow you to charge your smartphone/tab to devices that connect to your smartphone to monitor and control your luggage, and finally, suitcases that actually follow you around. Brands such as OVIS and Travelmate boast that last feature. Although both suitcases can be pulled around manually if the user desires to do so, the OVIS Auto-follow Suitcase once engaged, releases an additional set of wheels and starts to follow its owner based on a smart bracelet worn around their wrist. Don’t worry about your suitcase being a menace to other travellers as these suitcases come equipped with travel collision technology.

Enough About Travel Technologies Let’s Talk Gulf Reps

Gulf Reps is the leading travel and tourism representation company in the Middle East. With over 60 years of regional and industry experience. Gulf Reps has served clients on six continents, delivering transformative results to everyone from hoteliers to tourism boards. Our mix of world-class marketing expertise, PR specialists, unparalleled connections and relationships and eclectic mix of marketing channels makes working with Gulf Reps the only sure way to drive Middle Eastern tourists to your destination.

To find out more about our services, you can call us at +971 (0)4 703 6333 or write to us at sammy@gulfreps.com

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