With strict lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing, there’s no doubt that the past 2 years of the pandemic have been a rollercoaster ride for everyone. We simply weren’t prepared for what was coming our way!
We had no means to temporarily escape our reality because our overseas travel plans got squashed too, so many turned to local and virtual tours as a form of distraction.
As the travel borders gradually reopen and countries set up travel bubbles, we’re left to wonder how the pandemic will change the way we travel. One thing’s for certain, though: we’ll have to undergo multiple COVID tests throughout our trips!
Those in the tourism industry are keeping a close watch on the travel trends for 2022 to adjust its business models and services to the growing demand for travel - myself included!
Today, I’m going to talk all about them to help you anticipate how travel is going to be like this year!
Importance of safety and cleanliness
As expected, in the era of post-COVID-19 travel, hand sanitisers and wipes won’t be going anywhere! We’re likely going to carry them wherever we go as an extra layer of protection from germs and viruses.
For those who already have a habit of this while in Singapore, packing spare wipes and sanitisers in your luggage will be of second nature to you!
While it may not seem like much, they can help us feel more safe and confident as we get back into travelling again.
If there’s anything we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s how unsanitary our everyday items can be. We’re unwittingly touching doors, tables, and chairs every day too!
And as cleaning and safety protocols become an integral part of travelling, we’ll definitely see hotels, tourist posts, and high foot-traffic areas being regularly disinfected! Other spots may even be unavailable on certain days for disinfection purposes.
Sustainable travel has always been a significant trend in the tourism industry, but it’s projected to become even bigger this year.
With the CO2 emissions from planes and destruction of local cultures, we’ve come to realise that travelling isn’t always as clean-handed as we thought it was.
As the travel community becomes more aware of the carbon dioxide emissions of the airline and tourism industry, many travellers are exploring low-carbon travel options.
According to the European Travel Commission, nearly 70% of travellers are interested in eco-friendly travel options. It’s a growing market that needs to be accommodated!
Some travellers are even expecting transparency from travel businesses on their sustainability initiatives, such as eco-friendly transportation and support to local and small businesses.
With this in mind, travel companies need to connect with their clients by addressing these points of concern.
Travelling with family and friends
Group travel may not technically be a new travel trend, but many people are looking forward to going on trips with their family members and closest friends!
After almost 2 years of social distancing, we’re all longing for that personal touch and in-person interaction with our loved ones!
And what better way to jump into travelling again than by being surrounded by the people we love? Nothing beats the feeling of discovering and visiting unfamiliar places with our loved ones!
Instead of joining group tours with strangers, travelling with people we know creates a safety bubble as well that limits our exposure to the virus from new people.
There’s no denying that the importance of technology in travel will become more evident in 2022 and the years to come.
From digital passports to contract-tracing apps, technology keeps us informed and informs our future travel decisions.
As countries start to accept fully vaccinated travellers, we’ll have to constantly check the Internet for travel requirements and on-ground situations. There’s simply no better way to be updated than going online!
Airlines and travel companies are even slowly embracing tech-based solutions, including self-check-in, virtual travels, and online customer support to provide people with the best travel experiences
It’s proof that, even in times of uncertainty, technology can provide travellers with a smooth and hassle-free trip.
Slow recovery for business travel
For the past 2 years, remote work and hybrid work have been the norm for most corporate workers in the world, largely impacting the business travel sector.
As many organisations report an increase in productivity and efficiency in remote work, corporate travel may not come as a priority, compared to how it was before the pandemic.
Even as leisure travel gradually returns, we can expect to see more online training, virtual conferences, and hybrid webinars as companies recover from the financial brunt of the pandemic.
An international team with members from every part of the continent is no longer a thing of the future. We're already living and experiencing it now!
According to PWC, 75% of business travellers aren’t looking forward to travelling for work again, which is an interesting thing to note as countries reopen their borders. Maybe more and more people are getting used to working in the comfort of their own homes!
Given the uncertainty and huge price tag of travelling during a pandemic, I’m seeing a trend that people are taking longer trips to make the most of their free time.
Since more employees are working remotely, going on an extended vacation isn’t as hard as it was before!
As a result, airline companies are now offering more flexible cancellations and travel perks to take advantage of people’s pent-up desire to travel, so now’s your chance to snag that discount tickets!
The future of travel
With that, I conclude my list of travel trends for 2022! What are your thoughts about these travel trends? Feel free to let me know in the comments!
By the way, if you’re already planning to travel this year, I’d love to help you out! Send me a message and I’ll see what I can do to make your future travels more memorable and exciting.