biggest travel trend

The biggest travel trend of 2022: Go big, spend big

If 2021 was about domestic travel, 2022 may be the year of the “bucket list” trip.

‘New sense of urgency’ to hit the road

There’s a “new sense of urgency” to travel, said Stephanie Papaioannou, a vice president at the luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent.

“People are desperate to get away,” he said. “They’ve been waiting to get back out there and are not shying away from those international destinations and big, once-in-a-lifetime adventures.”

The year of the ‘GOAT’

Expedia is calling 2022 the year of the GOAT, or the “greatest of all trips.”
In a survey of 12,000 travelers in 12 countries, the company found that 65% of respondents are planning to “go big” on their next trip, according to a company representative. As a result, it named the desire for exciting and extravagant trips “the biggest travel trend” of the year.
Amadeus is seeing a jump in searches to “epic destinations,” according to a company report published in November. Searches to Tanzania (+36%), flights to Jordan’s Petra (+22%) and bookings to cities near Machu Picchu (nearly +50%) rose from 2020 to 2021, according to the report.
These trends are expected to grow this year, along with interest in islands in the Indian Ocean as well as Antarctica, according to the report.
The pandemic has changed the “mood of travelers,” said Decius Valmorbida, president of travel at Amadeus.
“We have people just say: “Look, what if another pandemic happens? What if I’m locked in again?’” he said. There’s “a psychological effect that now is the moment.”
The international destinations drawing the biggest search increases this year, compared with 2019, are Tuscany, Italy (+141%), the Bahamas (+129%), French Polynesia’s Bora Bora (+98%), the Maldives (+97%) and the south of France (+88%), according to the report.
Research shows that those aged 18 to 34 are driving the trend, and families are also getting in on the act, said Abercrombie & Kent’s Papaioannou.

Loosening purse strings

While financially devastating for some, the pandemic has allowed others — namely, professionals who have been able to work from home — to sock away more savings.
Some 70% of leisure travelers in major countries — such as the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Japan and Spain — plan to spend more on travel in 2022 than they have in the past five years, according to a November joint report by the World Travel & Tourism Council and travel website Trip.com.
Globally, HomeToGo’s average booking expenditures increased by 54% last year, compared with 2019, according to company data. But average nightly rates haven’t gone up nearly that much — around 10% in the U.S. — for bookings this year compared with before the pandemic, said the company’s co-founder and CEO Patrick Andrae.
“Pent-up demand for travel led to travelers taking longer vacations, many opting to do so in a spacious vacation rental versus a hotel,” he said.
U.S. travelers are also seeking quieter, more luxurious destinations this summer — Maui over Honolulu, Nantucket over Cape Cod — despite the higher costs, according to HomeToGo’s data.