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.
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.
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 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.
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