When the world reopens to travel, what will travellers want? Where will they go? And what values will inform their booking?
To answer those questions, adventure travel operator G Adventures gazed into its crystal globe to predict the year ahead. Well, kind of. The trends emerged from the feedback of more than 1,600 Canadian consumers who are counted among G Adventures’ global consumer panel.
Bruce Poon Tip, G’s founder, notes that the trends clearly reveal the pandemic has produced a more conscious traveller.
“The pandemic has woken travellers up and given them a chance to reflect on how they were travelling before. The data tells us people have become more purposeful and intentional about how and why they are travelling and where they are going, and they are recognizing the positive impact travel can have on local communities when decisions are made wisely."
Here are the top 10 predictions for 2022 travel:
Trend 1: Community tourism is the solution to responsible travel
According to G Adventures’ latest panel research, close to a third (28 per cent*) of respondents say they will place more focus on travelling responsibly in 2022. With the increased focus on community and support of locally owned businesses fostered during the pandemic, it makes sense that this mindset carries over into international travel plans. Travellers are looking for adventures that support community tourism, and trails are a great way for tourists to spread wealth through multiple smaller villages.
Trend 2: Travellers care most about supporting local people
The most important factor for Canadians when they travel is that their money benefits local people, at 67 per cent. This trend has been intensified by the impact of the pandemic on those countries who rely on tourism for their economic survival, and came in well ahead of other important considerations such as minimizing one’s carbon footprint and/or reducing plastics consumption (both at 15 per cent globally).
Trend 3: "Workcations" increase in popularity
As the world shifted to remote working, companies realised office confines were no longer required to ensure productivity. Previously the domain of the digital nomad, “workcations” have hit the mainstream. 20 per cent of respondents to G Adventures’ most recent survey say they are able to “work from anywhere” – with that number rising to 46 per cent for those aged 18-34. An increasing number of people plan to combine work with travel in future at 30 per cent, up from 18 per cent in December 2020.
Trend 4: Hostels will make a big comeback
The need for social connection amongst young travellers is stronger than ever with 63 per cent of respondents aged 18-34 saying they were likely to try a hostel experience following the pandemic, and 71 per cent of those expressing that meeting people to socialize at the hostel, and possibly travel with, is the most important factor when selecting a hostel.
Trend 5: Travellers want to disconnect from their devices
Workationers aside, while travellers want to reconnect with people and places, they are desperate to disconnect from the online world while on holiday. 55 per cent of Canadians want to take time out from their devices and social media, with 23 per cent saying socializing and meeting new people is their top wellbeing priority when booking their next holiday.
Trend 6: Travellers will have a bit more cash to splash
With staying in spurring a savings boom, 20 per cent of travel-starved respondents said they had increased their travel budget for their next international holiday, which means their travel dollars are likely to take them on bigger adventures than they might have thought possible before.
Trend 7: The staycation is over; travellers want to go further afield
The domestic holiday appeal is wearing off as the pandemic rolls on. Only 15 per cent of Canadians said they would prefer to stay closer to home as opposed to heading further afield on their next international holiday, with a third – 32 per cent - saying they were less likely to take a ‘staycation’ in 2022.
Trend 8: Lockdown life has led to a desire to be more active
Seventy-two per cent of those surveyed want to be physically active on their next holiday and with 66 per cent of travellers polled saying their physical and mental wellbeing is a top consideration when booking a holiday, taking a hike never sounded more appealing.
Trend 9: Travellers are prioritizing their wellbeing and mental health
With an overwhelming 94 per cent of travellers saying travel is important to their wellbeing and mental health, travellers are also looking to take their next holiday in a way that not only helps them to reconnect, but optimizes travel as a means of revitalization, too.
Trend 10: Revenge travel is out, reconnection travel is in
Consumers are hungry for new experiences and connections. Although the term “revenge travel” – the urge to travel to make up for lost time in lockdown – gained popularity over the course of the pandemic, reconnection travel is the top reason for travelling at 41 per cent, with revenge travel - booking a trip to make up for lost time – coming in at just nine per cent.
Disclaimer: This article was supplied by G Adentures.
G Adventure trips for each trend:
Community-based tourism | Highlights of the Trans Bhutan Trail
Supporting local | Highlights of Egypt
“Workcation” | Costa Rica: Beaches, Wildlife and Wild Times
Hostels & social connection | Yucatan Adventure: Merida, Tulum & Jungle Swims
Digital detox | Galapagos - Central and East Islands
Splurge-worthy trip | National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures - Iconic Japan
Far flung adventure | Highlights of Uzbekistan
An active trip| Zion to San Francisco Adventure
Mental health & wellbeing | Wellness Bali
Reconnection travel | Trekking Eastern Iceland