The number of travelers is rising
In case you already forgot what it’s like to line up to drop off luggage, we have some good news (or perhaps not so good news): the number of travelers is expected to significantly increase in 2022. According to the International Air Transport Association, which consists of almost 300 airlines, there will be up to 150% more passengers on flights in 2022!
These figures are associated with this year’s main trend: simplified entry to various countries. The high level of vaccination around the world has made it possible to slowly but surely lift restrictions on the movement of travelers.
It’s still too early to talk about completely canceling entry requirements. However, if some countries had completely banned tourists before, now, they just require a few documents in order to cross the border, for example, a vaccination certificate or a PCR test (nothing out of the ordinary, as if we have lived with them all our lives).
Destinations such as Australia, the Philippines, and Bali, that were closed since the beginning of the pandemic, became available for tourists in 2022.
Moreover, according to data from Airlines for America, which represents seven major airlines, prices on flights are 18% lower than in 2019. In January 2022, the cost of flights hit a record low since 2014!
Thus, the combination of simplified entry conditions, an expanded flight program, and low prices on flights will nonetheless compel us to mutter a little in the line-up at the check-in counter or passport control.
Travelers have increased their budgets
Expedia calls 2022 the year of the GOAT, or the “greatest of all trips”. As part of a survey, the company found out that 65% of respondents intend to make their next journey not only cool, but big! Yet another trend is connected precisely with this — larger travel budgets.
Now, travelers are afraid that the pandemic could happen again, and they will have to stay at home once more and postpone their travel dreams for an indefinite period. In their efforts to make up for previous ‘lost’ years, travelers are prepared to spend a lot.
According to a joint report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Trip.com, approximately 70% of tourists in major countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, Japan, and Spain plan to spend more on travel in 2022 than they did in the past five years.
Furthermore, according to a survey by HomeToGo, travelers are prepared to splash out on a posh or luxury destination in 2022 to compensate for the holiday they missed out on in the previous two years.
An Expedia study indicates that travelers are willing to pay extra for comfort in 2022. Throughout the next year, 40% of travelers will be more inclined to indulge themselves and spend money to improve the quality of their trip, and are ready to do things like purchasing a luxury experience (15%), upgrading their flight category or paying extra for room service (16%), and visiting a favorite destination (32%). This year will be dedicated to spending money on the things that make a simply good trip become an excellent trip.
Other studies reveal that travelers are more willing than ever to pay for all-inclusive. They don’t want to plan anything, and they don’t want to think about where to drink coffee or where to go for dinner. They want everything to be at hand.
Travelers want to go abroad
What do we want? To travel! When do we want it? Now! We have been deprived of normal travel for two years, and thus, a great comeback is in store for 2022. People are no longer able to sit within their own four walls or feed ducks at the park nearby.
G Adventures found out that only 18% of respondents are not ready to travel abroad and would prefer to spend their holidays at home or go on a day trip. But 30% of respondents were certain that they no longer want to spend their holidays in their own country.
This was also confirmed by the data from HomeToGo – over the past few months, there has been an 88% increase in searches for accommodation abroad compared to that of 2020. The total number of requests for bookings in foreign countries returned to the same level as in 2019.
In April 2022, people searched for accommodation abroad on ZenHotels one and a half times more than in April 2021. April bookings for foreign destinations have nearly doubled as compared to the same period last year.
Classic destinations and megacities are returning to the list of top destinations
A thirst for travel and new discoveries compels some travelers to look into unusual destinations.
According to a report by Amadeus, there has been a leap in the number of searches for “epic destinations”. From 2020 to 2021, there has been a 36% increase in search requests to Tanzania, a 22% increase in searches to Petra, and search requests to cities near Machu Picchu rose by almost 50%.
However, according to a report by HomeToGo about travel trends, classic international destinations are still popular. The following destinations had the largest rise in search requests compared to 2019: Tuscany, Italy (+141%), the Bahamas (+129%), Bora Bora in French Polynesia (+98%), the Maldives (+97%) and the south of France (+88%).
In April 2022, customers of ZenHotels were almost four times more likely to search for accommodation in Italy. Interest in Portugal and France tripled, interest in Spain doubled, and interest in Greece grew by one and a half times.
According to data from Scott’s Cheap Flights, Paris and London are already the most popular international destinations in 2022. The Hopper mobile app supports that report’s data, confirming that London and Paris are among the most popular international destinations for spring 2022.
With the easing of restrictions, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts reported an 80% increase in bookings in Paris, London, and New York.
Paris and London ranked second and third in popularity among bookings on ZenHotels in the first quarter of 2022. New York ended up in sixth place, behind Istanbul and Orlando, which were fourth and fifth, respectively. The unsurpassed leader was Dubai.
Indeed, megacities will clearly return to their place under the sun in 2022. For two years now, tourists have enjoyed the calm and tranquility of country life to their heart’s content, and now, they can’t wait to return to their beloved concrete jungles and plunge into the sights, smells, and sounds.
Family vacations and “friendcations” are becoming more popular
In recent years, our meetings with friends and family gatherings have been rather limited. Due to social responsibility and concern for one another, we honestly followed the rules and kept our feelings in control, not running to embrace each other in friendly hugs upon meeting.
Now, when all our friends and acquaintances have been vaccinated, and the rate of infection is thankfully low, we can finally spend some quality time with our family and friends.
What can be better than catching up for missed opportunities in the past two years by going on a trip together? This is precisely why family and friend vacations are one of the main trends of 2022.
Research data from Abercrombie & Kent shows that bookings for five or more guests have increased by 26% compared to 2019 levels.
Destinations that are traditionally chosen by large families with several generations of people traveling together have shown extraordinary growth – these include the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Maldives.
However, bookings for a large number of people do not always indicate a family trip. According to data from Amadeus, a new trend has arisen in the UK: “friendcations” or holidays with friends. After restrictions were eased in the country, there has been a sharp rise in bookings for large groups. The leading destinations were the world’s top party places – Las Vegas, Cancún, and the Spanish island of Ibiza.
So if you still haven’t figured out who to go on a trip with this summer, don’t be afraid to call your friends and choose the destination for a big party.
By the way, on ZenHotels you can instantly search for accommodation for up to nine rooms, each of which can accommodate both adults and children. You just have to select the necessary settings directly in the search form on the website’s homepage.
Hotels are catering to digital nomads
If digital nomads (people who work remotely and travel around the world at the same time) were rather rare in the past, this format of travel does not surprise anyone today.
Many employers and some major international corporations have decided to make remote work an option. This means that the number of people who are willing to combine work and travel is only set to rise. The workation (work + vacation) trend was becoming more and more popular even before the pandemic, but the widespread transfer of employees to remote work has turned the workation into a normal way of life.
You must agree, it’s quite satisfying to be able to attend a Zoom meeting from a beach chair on the balcony of your hotel room and apologize for the sound of the ocean in the background, and then in the evenings to close all tasks (or maybe not all of them) and take off on a moped to the next town to listen to local musicians and imbibe a couple of tropical cocktails.
This is exactly why hotels have started to adapt themselves to the growing number of digital nomads and do everything they can to attract this type of traveler: many accommodations around the world have allocated special work zones on their grounds, added mini office corners to rooms, and checked, or even improved, the quality of their high-speed Internet. The Hoxton hotel chain has gone further and even opened several coworking spaces in Chicago and London.
Smartphones began to interfere with vacations
Travelers are so desperate to enjoy every minute of their vacation that they are even prepared to give up their smartphones! We’re serious about this: no photos in Instagram, no status updates on Facebook — full stop. Smartphones are only to be used to call parents or to add new friends to your contact list.
According to data from G Adventures, travelers are really striving to turn themselves off from the online world during their trips: 54% of respondents want to forget about social media and reduce their screen time, and a further 28% declared that socializing and meeting new people is their top priority when planning their next vacation.
We are certainly in favor of taking a break from your smartphone, but before you go on vacation, we nevertheless advise you to download the ZenHotels mobile app (for iOS and for Android) in case you want to change your location and need a hotel.
Interest in hostels is growing
After two years of sitting in seclusion, even the most confirmed introverts have missed communication. And where is the best place to meet people while on a trip (well, one of the best options)? You guessed it — at hostels.
The need for socialization also had an effect on where travelers want to stay. According to surveys by G Adventures, 63% of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they have nothing against staying at a hostel. The main factor for choosing a hostel was the possibility of meeting and socializing with new people.
If you and your friends want to choose a hostel for your next trip, simply select the appropriate filter on ZenHotels in the Property Type section.
Mental health is the top priority
No doubt, the lingering pandemic and the impossibility of freely going wherever you want and when you want that was associated with it has negatively affected the mental state of many people.
The vast majority of travelers (95%) say that trips are important to their mental health, so therefore many of them are looking for a vacation that will help them restore their strength and energy.
As a result, it’s expected that the demand for travel to such countries as Indonesia will increase rapidly. And indeed, what could be better than a retreat to Bali: proper nutrition, a sensible daily routine, yoga or surfing in the mornings, the soothing sound of the waves — a trip like this also wouldn’t hurt us!
For the past two years, the pandemic has changed our perception of travel and has also changed us as travelers.
We have reconsidered not only our approach to safety during trips, but also our dreams: it’s truly better to do something when you get the chance to do it. So grab your friends and rush off to that festival in Paris you’ve been wanting to go to, buy tickets for your parents so they can sunbathe on the beaches of Crete for a week, organize a romantic weekend as a couple in Italy, or jet off to the Maldives together. May your coolest travel dreams finally come true this year!