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Booking.com: 7 Predictions for the Triumphant Return of Travel in 2022

Photo source: Booking.com

Booking.com’s predictions reveal how people will be reigniting the travel spark
in the upcoming year.

The year 2022 will be one to make the most of unpredictability and start making up for lost vacation time in a big way, with the number of travelers who feel they need to do so having increased by 52 percent since last year, new research by Booking.com reveals.

“Whether it’s as an essential part of a self-care regime or the thrill of just saying yes to whatever travel opportunities and experiences come their way, it’s all about seizing the day in 2022 and making every trip matter,” the travel booking platform says.

To explore this rolling wave of optimism, Booking.com has commissioned extensive research with more than 24,000 travelers across 31 countries and territories, combining it with its proprietary data and insights to predict how travel will continue to be redefined in the year ahead.

Its key findings are the following:

Vitamin vacay

After more than a year of ever-evolving travel restrictions, the important benefits that travel has on health and wellbeing are now being acknowledged. Nearly two thirds (62 percent) of travelers say they didn’t realize how important travel was to their wellbeing until it was no longer an option, and 84 percent say that having a vacation planned has a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing.

Resetting the out of (home) office

Photo source: Booking.com

Vacation time will be strictly work-free for three quarters of travelers (73 percent) in 2022, which wasn’t always the case in 2021 with home and remote work lives blurred.

Despite the flexibility to work remotely, 59 percent of people would rather spend less time on vacation if it meant they could completely switch off in 2022 vs. spend more time in the destination, but having to mix business and leisure.

All the first-time feels

Each “first” of trips in 2022 will be a moment to savor, with a majority of travelers saying that simple pleasures such as feeling the sun on their skin (77 percent) or seeing a body of water of some kind instantly improves their mood for the better (82 percent).

Community first

Over half (58 percent) of people agree it’s important that their trip is beneficial to the local community at their destination and 57 percent would appreciate an app or website that provides recommendations on destinations where an increase in tourism would have a positive impact on the local community.

Furthermore, 68 percent want the money that they spend when traveling to go back to the local community and 73 percent want to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture.

Swipe right on new places and faces

Photo source: Booking.com

For many, the pandemic meant spending an extended and intense period with close friends and loved ones, but vacations in 2022 will be an opportunity to branch out and make some new connections.

As two-thirds (60 percent) want to meet new people while away, Booking.com expects to see travelers using their vacations as an opportunity to expand their usual social circles, with 64 percent of global travelers looking forward to socializing while on vacation and 49 percent wanting to stay somewhere close to plenty of nightlife options so that they can meet new people.

Just say yes

After so long of being told “no” travelers are reclaiming a more positive way of thinking for 2022. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) agree they will say yes to any vacation opportunity if budget allows.

Two-thirds (61 percent) are more open to different types of vacation than before the pandemic and 65 percent won’t mind where they go on vacation as long as it’s the type of trip they want, they’re just happy to be away from home.

Embracing the unpredictable

Photo source: Booking.com

Having leaned on technology in a variety of ways to stay connected and inspired over the past year and a half, travelers continue to use their favorite apps to navigate the unknown on their trips, with two-thirds (62 percent) agreeing that technology helps alleviate the anxiety around traveling.

Booking,com expects to see even wider adoption of predictive technologies which can help travelers make more informed decisions, especially considering that two thirds would be interested in an innovative service that could predict which countries will be safe to travel to (69 percent), even months in advance, or automatically suggest destinations which are easy to travel to now based on their country’s and the destination’s current COVID-19 requirements (67 percent).

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