It is no news that 2021 was not the best year for the travel and hospitality industry. In the hope of a fresh start, we are all excited to welcome 2022 with open arms. While any prediction may not be a viable idea during these times, a research commissioned by booking.com throws light on what 2022 may have instore for us. The study paints a very positive outlook for the upcoming year – and would bring a smile on each of our faces.
Let’s dive deeper into the upcoming trends for travel in 2022.
After being confined to the four walls of their homes for countless months, people are now looking at ways to break free from the “new normal”. Vaccinated individuals and families want to move away from their inert state of existence. Industry experts have coined this as Revenge Travel, where people go on a vacation for an extended period to make up for the time lost. Infact the same research that booking.com did, highlights, 72% will agree to go on a vacation if the budget permits. This is a pretty good opportunity for the hospitality and travel industry to tap into the revenge travel emotion of people.
Experiencing Authentic Local Culture
More than half of people manifested a desire, in the research, to benefit local communities because of their travel. With the rise of awareness about diverse cultures and ethnicities, travelers are now keen on experiencing this diversity when on vacation. They are willing to shell a few extra bucks to interact with communities and share their ground-level authentic culture. This augurs well for the local population who have been bearing the brunt of ‘manufactured off-season’ due to pandemic. This is one of the primary reasons for homestays getting more popular amongst travelers across the globe.
Remote Work = Workcation
The concept of remote work has kindled the idea of a workcation. Keen and enthusiastic travelers are now working from exotic locations. Such people have particular demands for their travel needs; for example, they need working quality WiFi. They also prefer a dedicated workstation with a view. Workcationers usually stay at a property for a longer duration. They also demand flexibility when it comes to extending their stays. Hotels, homestays, and resorts are now updating their services according to these special requirements.
Embracing Long Road Trips
While traveling and vacation may be back in the picture, many are still a little apprehensive about hopping on a plane or boarding a train. They prefer road adventures to stay on the safer side, as it is more private, safer and presents an intimate opportunity to enjoy travel with their loved ones. The research proves this, as 75% of people consider the journey more enjoyable when it is a part of the trip. This is a chance for car rental services to make the most of the upcoming year.
Splurging on Vacations
Some people haven’t traveled in almost two years, which means all of their travel/vacation money is still safely accumulating in their bank accounts. So, the next trip they will take will be one where they may splurge all their saved-up vacation money. This means a rise in demand for suites, luxury destinations, over-the-top experiences, etc. Such travelers are the perfect prospects for luxury resorts & hotel chains in the upcoming year.
Making the Journey Count
A vacation is no longer going to be about only the destination. Travelers want to make each moment memorable – they want to make the journey an inclusive part of their entire trip. Various travel management agencies were already looking into customized packages for such preferences; now is the time to delve deeper into the nuances of such intent of travelers.
Prioritizing Safer Stays
Travelers are seriously looking at the safety protocols in place at the property. 70% of travelers are more likely to book a property if it’s clear what health and safety measures are in place (source). They expect transparency. Therefore, hotels need to embrace technology – invest in Content to showcase the facilities at the location. This has the potential to directly impact revenues. The property should mention the sanitization process, local government’s mandate for traveling, etc.
Emphasizing on Wellness Travel
Post the 2020, people have acknowledged the benefits of travel on overall mental health and wellbeing. 62% of global travellers have realized how essential travel is for their well-being until it was no longer an option. It is a means to rejuvenate and revive. This entails that the hospitality industry can include various self-care experiences and facilities as a part of its package.
What do these trends indicate for hotels?
It is critical hoteliers understand and embrace this new shift in travel and hospitality. As 2022 approaches, they should include technologies like hotel channel manager into their mix while they review the budget for the year, which can give you access to all leading and long-tail OTAs and demand partners. A hotel channel manager software shouldn’t just push ARI updates in real-time; it is its basic operation. Instead, it should help you discover new revenue by sourcing new markets and demand for you.
2022 will witness a new and transformed approach to traveling, where travellers will adopt the ‘new normal’ for vacationing and holidaying. Are you ready?