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Covid-19 is still in the rear view mirror in the country, and the travel industry is one which has suffered the most at the time of pandemic. With countries closing their borders, restricting movement of people so as to prevent or at least slow the spread of the Covid infection, the industry underwent major changes.
Now the world is slowly recovering from the pandemic, and tourism is also picking up with people setting the trend that how they want to travel in the coming year. After a long period of hybernating in isolation and co-existing with fellow human beings at a safe 6-meter distance, it is time to step out again.
Various travel solutions and technology companies too are closely keeping a watch on the trends to build their products and help their clients to be prepared for the changing demands from travellers.
To explore this rolling wave of optimism, booking.com has commissioned extensive research with American travellers, combining it with its proprietary data and insights as a digital travel leader for the past 25 years, to predict how travel will continue to be redefined in the year ahead.
2022 will be the year to make the most of unpredictability and start making up for lost vacation time in a big way, with the number of global travellers who feel they need to do so has increased by 52% since last year*. Booking.com’s predictions reveal how people will be reigniting the travel spark in the upcoming year. Whether it’s as an essential part of a self-care regime or the thrill of just saying yes to whatever travel opportunities and experiences come their way, it’s all about seizing the day in 2022 and making every trip matter.
1. Vitamin Vacay
More so than daily exercise or mindful meditation, getting away on vacation will become the form of self-care in 2022, with over three-quarters of Americans (76%) affirming that travel helps their mental and emotional well being more than other forms of rest and relaxation. After more than a year of ever-evolving travel restrictions, the important benefits that travel has on health and well being are now being acknowledged, with approximately two thirds (66%) saying they didn’t realise how important travel was to their well being until it was no longer an option, and 82% saying that having a vacation planned has a positive impact on their emotional well being.
2. Resetting the Out Of (Home) Office
When the pandemic hit, homes across America became our offices too, and the novelty of working remotely was realised. However, in 2022 we’ll see a significant rise in people wanting to take back control in a bid to firmly re-establish a healthy work-life balance as vacation time itself will be strictly work-free for just over three quarters of US travellers (76%) in 2022, which wasn’t always the case in 2021 with home and remote work lives blurred.
3. All the First-Time Feels
While many of us have forgotten where our passport is or even just how to pack, all that out-of-practice travel awkwardness will give way to a genuine sense of delight for even the most routine aspects of our trips in 2022. Remember what it was like to board a plane for the very first time? Or even just to check into a hotel? After feeling ‘stuck’ for so long, rather than rushing through the journey, US travellers will be relishing every moment, from fine-tuning the playlist for the rental car to browsing the delicacies duty free has to offer, with almost a fifth (18%) most looking forward to the pure excitement and anticipation as the journey begins.
4. Community First
As movement was slowed in many parts of the world due to limitations, the pandemic encouraged us to make the most of what was there in front of us. Our relationship with the community around us has been revived, from supporting locally owned companies to spending more time than ever at the neighbourhood park. This desire to connect authentically with the local community will extend to vacations in 2022, as we strive to be more conscious of each trip we take and ensure a good impact on the locations we visit and the people who live there.
5. Swipe Right on New Places and Faces
For many, the pandemic meant spending an extended and intense period with our closest friends and loved ones, but vacations in 2022 will be an opportunity to branch out and make some new connections. As over more than half of Americans (59%) want to meet new people while away, we expect to see travellers using their vacations as an opportunity to expand their usual social circles, with 65% of US travellers looking forward to socialising while on vacation and 52% wanting to stay somewhere close to plenty of nightlife options so that they can meet new people.
6. Just say yes
The coming year will bring the best of improve travel. To that end, nearly 83 per cent of Indian travellers agree they will say yes to any vacation opportunity if budget allows, and 79 per cent are more open to different types of vacation; 65 per cent won’t mind where they go as long as it’s the type of trip they want. Adopting a positive mentality will open up even more of the world to travellers than ever before.
7. Embracing the unpredictable
Uncertainty will continue to be a travel constant in 2022. Having leaned on technology in a variety of ways to stay connected, our favourite apps will continue to help us navigate the unknown on our trips, with 76 per cent of Indian travellers agreeing that technology helps alleviate the anxiety around travelling.
Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com comments: “As we look towards the year ahead, we’re seeing a lot of excitement and anticipation for people to return to travel, whether it’s domestically, abroad, the trip of a lifetime or just saying yes to whatever travel opportunity comes their way, and it’s our mission to make it easier for everyone to do just that. We will be there for travellers – offering the widest choice, great value and the easiest experience from anywhere and on any device – so people can reclaim their travel and enjoy all of the unforgettable experiences this world has to offer.”