Since 2020, many of us have had to stay home due to travel restrictions and cancelled trips. The year 2022, however is predicted to see a rise in travel plans and according to the International Air Transport Association, the number of international passengers is expected to be 88% of pre-pandemic levels. In 2023 these numbers are expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels (105%). It may be safe to say then that 2022 promises a more “normal” year of travel than we have experienced in a while.
However, travel in 2022 will still look very different to travel in 2019. Other than the many travel protocols that we now have to follow, the pandemic has also caused new travel trends to come to the surface.
“We’ll go one day, when we have time”. Travelers have had limited options and disruptions when choosing travel destinations in the last two years. Now, they are finally planning trips to places that they had only dreamed about. These will involve experiences that will make these big trips unforgettable, including traveling for a longer period of time than just a week.
Returning to treasured destinations
After the uncertainty and emotional and physical stress that the pandemic has caused us, many travellers are seeking comfort by returning to familiar places. However, this return to old favourites may have a new twist, such as going at a different time in the year, exploring with different transport means…
Domestic travel is still the most popular choice
Despite reports of many travellers planning adventures abroad, traveling within their home countries is still favoured over traveling overseas. For example, TripAdvisor states that 73% of British say they plan to travel within the UK, compared to 48% planning to travel abroad.
The pandemic has taught us to appreciate the places around us and fully immerse ourselves in these. Our 2022 holidays will reflect this; we will be delving deeper into the places we visit, appreciating the culture beyond the superficial tourist attractions.
Family and friends getaways
Limited contact with friends and family over the last two years has created a strong desire in many to reconnect with loved ones; for some this means going off on family and friends holidays. A report by Expedia found that 81% of their participants were planning on taking at least one holiday with family and friends in the next six months.
Yearning for remote locations immersed in nature
The pandemic has left many of us craving space, tranquillity and a place to disconnect from technology. Holiday destinations in remote locations where social distancing is a given, are becoming increasingly popular.
Sustainable travel has been on a slow rise in the last decade. However, according to Booking.com, 83% of travellers saw the pandemic as a tipping point for them understanding the importance of sustainable travel. This is shown by the 81% of travellers looking for sustainable accommodation compared to 62% in 2016.
Overall, 2022 brings new travel trends and expectations, born from the frustrations of restricted traveling during the last two years. It will be a unique year for traveling with individuals wanting to resume normal touring whilst also giving importance to Covid-19 updates in travel decisions.