Traveling in 2021 was a headache for many. The traffic light system changed too regularly, and with the complexity – and cost – of testing, it was no surprise that staycations had increased. If Omicron allows it, could it be the next year to return from the trip? Many want to make up for lost time and reunite with family and friends, while some lucky travelers have saved up more money and therefore want to splurge on that first big break. We asked experts from across the industry what their experience – and booking data – suggests about the trends.
Main photo: Fujikawaguchiko town and the bridge over Lake Kawaguchi with Mount Fuji as a backdrop (Getty Images)
Andrew Flintham, Managing Director of Tui UK
âWe saw an immediate increase in bookings for our most popular long-haul destinations when travel restrictions were lifted. This includes the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, but Mexico, which has always been a favorite with the British, is definitely the hot spot this winter and next summer. Many of our clients haven’t taken a vacation in a while, so opt for longer vacations where they can immerse themselves in a destination and make up for any trips they may have missed in recent months. We’re also finding that customers are booking more high-end hotels and upgrading their rooms to make their experience even more special.
âFlexible working also has a definite impact on the way our clients choose to spend their vacations. They want to maximize their time and work-life balance and can see the recovery benefits of a ten day trip where they relax for a week and work from their vacation hotel instead of home or office. during the last three days. There is a growing tendency to spend the accumulated savings on experiences with family and friends rather than on material goods. “
Hop-on hop-off trip
Helen Bailey, Global Head of Communications, Mr & Mrs Smith
âWe’re definitely seeing more and more people planning trips that earn fewer air miles. Paris has been hugely popular, especially now that we see its post-lockdown creative turmoil, with new hotels and restaurants starting to draw crowds again. This idea of ââmulti-stop travel, especially with people less tied to their offices, is also likely to grow and expand in 2022. “
Great birthday trips
Amy Hope, COO at Artisan Travel Company
âA notable trend in reservations is that people want to mark big birthdays, wedding anniversaries and other celebrations in style. Especially for the steps originally taken during the lockdown. There’s this huge pent-up demand for people who want to make up for lost time, and what may have been a short stay in town or a few nights in a hotel in the UK they now see a lot bigger and want to do. some special memories together.
Jim Eite, Sales Director of UK agency Exodus
âThe main trends we are seeing are towards active travel, with customers preferring walking or cycling adventures to cultural trips for 2022. Destinations like the Galapagos Islands, the Polar Regions and Kenya safaris have seen strong advance bookings. for next year, while Europe continues to be the best performer.
Getaways in the Maldives
Darren Bien, Commercial Director at Designer Travel
âPeople want to book in the destination of their dreams, and one of the areas where we’ve seen tremendous growth is the Maldives, with more people than ever opting for the best rooms. Our bookings in the Maldives are actually over 300% higher than pre-pandemic levels, and overwater villas take up the largest share. After the last few years, people want to make the most of their vacation now that they can again.
Brian Young, Managing Director for EMEA at G Adventures
âThe pandemic has led many of us to work from home, swap face-to-face meetings for Zoom calls after Zoom calls, and, with hours spent on our laptops interacting in this strange, remote world, it no wonder so many of us are suffering from digital exhaustion. In a recent survey, we found that 94 percent of travelers see travel as important to their mental and physical health, and 58 percent cite that they need a vacation to help alleviate stress related to burnout. to the pandemic.
âThis ‘always on’ digital exhibit led 53% of travelers to say they were looking to take time with their devices and social media on their next trip. Remote destinations, great treks and less connected destinations such as the Galapagos are proving popular for 2022, where travelers can disconnect from their working lives remotely and reconnect with nature and the world.
Cruise near you
Robin Deller, imagine the cruise
âThe trend for summer 2022 is definitely Europe, with a huge range of cruise lines offering numerous itineraries to suit all tastes and budgets. This will be the first time since 2019 that guests will feel truly comfortable exploring the wonders of Europe at sea. We are also seeing a trend towards longer vacations where guests are adding extensions and tours before or after. as well as bookings higher up on the ship, indicating that 2022 is the year to have fun.
âAs winter 2022 approaches, we are seeing very strong demand for regions like Australia, Japan, the Caribbean and Asia in particular. While we are still cautious with our outlook, all signs are leading to a very strong recovery for the industry. “
An American boom
Zina Bencheikh, Managing Director EMEA, Intrepid
âWe have seen a significant increase in interest in the United States – bookings have increased 80% in the last month alone and I expect the momentum to continue through 2022. After a 18 month travel ban, people are happy to come back. in the United States – not only to iconic destinations, but they want to explore a part of the country they have never visited before.
The end of business-oriented hotels
Michael Struck, Founder and CEO of Ruby Hotels
âToday more than ever, people want a better work-life balance. Next year, many hotels will focus on adapting and creating spaces that inspire digital nomads while they work; and serve as sources of inspiration, as well as comfortable places to stay away from home.
Alex Bentley, Product Manager at Audley Travel
âOur specialists are seeing increased interest in luxury train travel from customers in destinations around the world, especially for bookings in the second half of next year. These train trips are proving to be very popular because they give the customers the chance to see a wide range of landscapes and places within the chosen destination and after so long without traveling it is very attractive.
Getaways in the Caribbean
James Bell, Managing Director of Turquoise Holidays
“Over the past six weeks, we’ve seen bookings for the Caribbean increase 80% from last year, 20% above pre-pandemic levels.”