Coronavirus is rampant in the world, but travel still happens to us. Moreover, travel industry insiders in the comments on CNBC are already noting the trend for trips “like the last time”: not in the most obvious destinations and for a lot of money. We tell you what kind of feast during the plague.
Why do people stop sparing money on travel?
The answer is simple: because they were waiting. People feel like they’ve lost two years, and older people are also worried that they have fewer and fewer healthy years to travel, according to luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent. Apparently, in the past two years, those who aspire to see the world have had a strong feeling that they need to act immediately.
People desperately want to take off to destinations they once enjoyed and choose once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Taste a crazy local delicacy, dance to authentic music, sleep under the stars, go skinny dipping, or go to a hiring service and get a Ferrari rental in Dubai to experience new pleasant emotions that you have never been given by rental companies before because when else in your life will you get a chance to drive a supercar (even if it is rented)?
Booking site Expedia confirms the trend in numbers: an online survey of 12,000 travelers from 12 countries found that 65% of respondents plan to “go big” on their next trip. This approach was dubbed the abbreviation GOAT – Greatest of All Trips. That’s what tourists crave, they don’t just want to go somewhere anymore, they want to be pampered.
Destinations to pamper yourself
According to the Amadeus report, from 2020 to 2021, interest in exotic destinations such as Jordan (+ 22%), Tanzania (+ 36%), and Peru increased (bookings in settlements near Machu Picchu increased by almost 50%).
The HomeToGo service also indicates that people are looking for rooms and apartments abroad at least as often as in pre-Covid 2019. At the same time, Tuscany (+ 141%), the Bahamas (+ 129%), Bora Bora (+ 98%), the Maldives (+ 97%), and the south of France (+ 88%) became noticeably more popular among Americans – by no means the cheapest destinations.
It is expected that in 2022 the trend will only strengthen. Travelers will rush to the paradise islands in the Indian Ocean and to beautiful Antarctica because they do not want to put off their dream any longer. According to the Amadeus travel department, some customers are saying, “What if another pandemic happens? What if they lock me up in four walls again?”
Young and family people
Most tired of sitting at home are people aged 18 to 34 years. The desire for expensive travel is especially seen among highly skilled workers who have been working from home during the pandemic and have saved more money than usual as a result.
However, the trend to travel “like the last time” is still more psychological than economic. The pandemic has taught us to be more rational and keep a plan B up our sleeves, but we are increasingly willing to live in the moment.
Traveling with the whole family or a large group of friends is also the trend of the year. People yearn to make up for lost time with family and friends. And they choose places they have long dreamed of, preferring outdoor options like European ferry trips or African safaris.
As soon as pandemic restrictions were eased in the UK, there was a surge in bookings for large groups, according to Amadeus. Travelers are increasingly going to party places like Ibiza or Cancun.
Every person has their own luxury
Average hosting spend, according to HomeToGo, increased by 54% in 2021 compared to 2019. They attribute this to deferred demand: now travelers are taking longer vacations, during which they do not want to huddle in modest hotels, but book spacious apartments.
Other travelers are ready to generously invest not in comfort, but in the destinations themselves. According to Expedia, only 15% of Americans are happy to fork out for luxury travel experiences, 16% for room or flight upgrades, but 32% of Americans said they were willing to spend more to get to must-see places.
Travelers of 2022 are people who want to get out of their comfort zone, do something that they have never done before, and immerse themselves in a culture that is radically different from the one in which they grew up. For the sake of completeness, every fourth respondent of Expedia is ready to spend less time on their smartphone during the trip. Sounds good, but how serious these intentions are, only time will tell.