Why getting ahead of travel trends in 2022 will future-proof your business
Google has spoken. Travel in 2022 will be more inclusive, culturally engaged, and purposeful according to their recent survey commissioned to Ipsos.
Celebrating a ‘life moment’
These patterns, based on the past 20 months of consumer behaviours, will set the tone of how travel choices are made; travel products are perceived and purchased. Celebrating a ‘life moment’ is already proving to be the key factor for which travellers are choosing their next travel experience.
Why so? Extended time spent apart and reconsideration of life priorities have played a major role over the past 20 months, leading many to the realization that life is precious after all and that it must be celebrated, not just lived.
As I shared in a recent article: fears over health, finances, and relationships have impacted the lightheartedness of travel choices. As a result, the perception of time passing has radically changed, prompting people to take that long-postponed trip abroad to celebrate special occasions, or simply to celebrate life.
This is, in a nutshell, what a ‘life moment’ represents for today’s travelers. Whatever the occasion, it’s the choice of taking the time to celebrate that flags one of the Top 10 travel behaviour trends 2022 report.
Culturally engaged holidays
A good destination-marketing manager knows that the balance between international standards and local uniqueness is a fragile one. Too much of the first would result in a hybrid holiday destination that leaves a soulless impression to the visitor. Too much of the second could impact the perception of safety and comfort relatively known to international travellers.
Perhaps a silver lining of the pandemic, in terms of social sustainability is that many community-based tourism strategies have been re-evaluated and dusted off as people were more prone to re-connect and engage with each other.
In the Report, the trends listed in the Self-discovery travel section are directly connected to the clear desire to travel in a more culturally-engaged manner, deeply connected with the local community spirit, and open to learning more about foreign cultures.
The Hospitality industry has long embraced the ‘locale X factor’, however here ‘culturally engaged goes a step further. It’s not just about having a local meal in the village near the resort. It’s about knowing that the tourism dollars are actually supporting that village and, for example, are ensuring those kids’ education.
Purposeful travel trends
The pandemic has somehow accelerated the way travellers wish to contribute to preventing climate change through their travel choices. Event the most recent Expedia report shares that 59% of the travellers surveyed are willing to pay higher fees to make their trip more sustainable.
Where does that leave us? Hospitality and travel industry operators are to take a step up when it comes to their sustainability practices. Good travellers are quick at spotting greenwashing and will not hesitate to voice their concerns and findings online.
Ensure a timely and relevant strategy around the causes that matter around you. Study the global issues that your establishment is more likely to be affected by, and work towards time-bound solutions. Then talk about it! The biggest fail in sustainable tourism is in the lack of communication. Education goes both ways.
Travel restrictions, mandatory physical distance, and ongoing use of facemasks contributed – over time – to an inevitable change in travel behavior. There are, however, more aspects of the pandemic that have influenced travel choices and priorities around the world. This report focuses on the Top 10 travel behaviour trends 2022 detected over the past few months, as travel restrictions eased and people started traveling again.