Chartered flights to hyperloops, and eco-sensitive travel, here are some of the trends that will influence travel makers’ decisions in 2022, as per travel companies.
With the world slowly recovering from the pandemic, tourism is also picking up with people already setting the trend how they want to travel in the coming year. Various travel solutions and technology companies too are closely keeping a watch on the trends to build and adapt their products or help their clients to be prepared for the changing demands from travelers.
Writes Daniel Batchelor, Vice President, Global Corporate Communications & Social Responsibility, Amadeus, “The last two years have been a roller-coaster for most people around the world. With vaccines and digital health passports now making the rounds, we can finally begin looking forward to new adventures, both near and far.”
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip
One trend revealed by queries and bookings on portals is that many travelers are keen to take their once-in-a-lifetime trip now rather than postpone it to later. The pandemic and the lockdown have made people realize that the future can be uncertain indeed. Amadeus calls it ‘savoring the now’.
Searches for Tanzania—where travelers can see the Big Five in the wild—are up by 36%. Bookings to the Peruvian cities of Lima and Cusco, near Machu Pichu, are up by nearly 50%, and flights to Petra in Jordan—of Indiana Jones fame—are up by 22%. All of these signs suggest this trend will continue to grow, with the Indian Ocean islands and even Antarctica showing increased demand for travel.
Interestingly, many people are keen to travel within the country or to short haul destinations. If there is any chance of a global lockdown, they would not be stuck far from home. Besides, travel restrictions, including testing requirements and quarantine, are also forcing people to opt for domestic travel or within the same region. The media quoted Prashant Pitti, co-founder, EaseMyTrip, as saying his company found that people are making the most of long weekends where bookings are up by nearly 60% such as during Dasara. He also pointed out that bookings to and from Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have seen a rise of 50%-70% while destinations such as Kashmir, Leh and Rajasthan also reported a rise.
Vacations with Friends and Family
Another key trend noticed by Amadeus is that people are keen to travel in large groups consisting of their extended family or close friends and their families. One, because after living a digital life for almost two years, most are hankering for that personal touch. Second, travelling with a group of people who are known to each other creates a safety bubble. Hence ‘friendcations’ are on the rise.
Travel by Chartered Planes
Another noticeable feature is the rising demand for traveling by chartered planes from the well-heeled. The Hindu quoted Sachit Wadhwa, co-founder, BookMyCharters, as saying that his company has seen a rise in inquiries now compared to pre-Covid times. He also pointed out that wedding charters are also in demand, especially between November and March.
According to a recent Amadeus survey, ‘two-thirds of consumers consider sustainable travel a priority, and 37% of respondents think opportunities for travelers to be involved in the preservation of tourist destinations will help the industry to become more sustainable in the long-term’. Community tourism, eco-friendly holidays, lowering the carbon footfall are some of the areas which are seeing increased interest. Searches for travel from the US to the eco-paradise of Costa Rica are up by 234% year-on-year, and in Europe visitors to carbon-neutral Iceland are up 11%.
The day is also not far when that speedy futuristic travel will decrease travel time, leaving the traveler more time to explore. Think hyperloop, space travel and new supersonic airliners.