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‘Flex Travel’ a Priority for Travelers in 2022, Says Expedia

Photo source: @Expedia

After two years of enduring the global Covid-19 pandemic, people value travel and personal time more than ever, ranking flex travel at the top of their priorities for 2022, the Traveler Value Index: 2022 Outlook report by Expedia Group.

The report underscores the resilience of the industry and reveals how travel companies can adapt to achieve a competitive advantage in this rapidly evolving environment.

“Travel is about to experience a year unlike ever before as people plan purpose-driven trips, value vacation time more, and up their investment in unique experiences,” said Ariane Gorin, president of Expedia for Business.

Photo source: CDC

Travel companies that prioritize safety and wellbeing, innovative solutions, and transparent communication will be the clear leaders as the entire industry shifts from survival mode into accelerated demand and growth.

“Travelers are preparing themselves for possible trip changes as Covid-19 persists, and they want an array of options at their fingertips,” Gorin added.

According to the report’s findings:

Travelers will be on the hunt for great deals and flexibility

– The ability to book travel for a reasonable price and make changes to trip itineraries is an absolute must in the eyes of travelers.  Almost all (84 percent) respondents agree that a discounted fee is influential when booking a flight online.

– A nearly identical percentage (83 percent) say flexible fare options make a world of difference.

There will be a surge in travel for personal wellness

– Most people (81 percent) plan to take at least one vacation with family and friends in the next six months, and the majority are seeking quick doses of adventure, with more than three quarters (78 percent) expressing an interest in frequent short trips.

– Nearly two in five (36 percent) US travelers are searching for a sense of contentment and mental wellbeing on their next trip.

Source: Travel Value Index – Outlook 2022, Expedia

The new world of work will alter traveler priorities

– As companies prepare to return to the office and evolve remote work policies, employees are looking to make greater use of their vacation time, and in some cases, combine work and play. More than half (56 percent) of those who often work remotely will take a “bleisure” style trip — extending a work trip for leisure, or vice versa.

– Compared to pre-Covid, 84 percent of US families have a greater appreciation for vacation time and 77 percent have a greater appreciation for separating professional and personal life.

Investment in travel will boom compared to pre-pandemic

– More than half (54 percent) of respondents say they plan to spend more on trips than they did prior to the pandemic.

– Two in 5 (40 percent) plan to use loyalty points for at least part of a trip in 2022, with Gen Z in the lead.

Source: Travel Value Index – Outlook 2022, Expedia

People will travel more responsibly

– Over half of people (59 percent) are willing to pay more fees to make a trip sustainable, and 49 percent would choose a less crowded destination to reduce effects of overtourism.

– Nearly half (43 percent) will add in extra time for services and transit, helping to minimize long lines, stress on workers, and missed flights.

Expedia published its Traveler Value Index: 2022 Outlook, which is based on a new study conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research among 5,500 adults across eight countries, combined with Expedia Brands proprietary data.

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