Based on findings released in the “2022 Travel Trends Forecast” compiled by vacation rental hospitality company Evolve, almost 80% of people are actively moving forward with travel plans as the travel recovery continues.
This is good news. Here are seven trends that are set to continue to drive the travel resurgence in 2022 and beyond.
Bucket List/GOAT Travel
Before the pandemic hit, many people had been holding onto a relatively untouched travel bucket list for quite some time. It wasn’t until their freedom to venture further afield was snatched away that they realised that there’s no better time to travel than ‘right now’! As such, experts predicted that travellers would start planning bigger, more luxurious and longer distance trips.
What might have convinced a person to put a bucket-list destination off until a later stage, such as long-haul flights or a lack of direct flights, won’t matter as much. Most travellers now will simply be grateful for the opportunity to explore somewhere completely different and bucket list-worthy.
Many industry insiders have begun referring to this type of bucket list travel as GOAT (greatest of all trips) travel.
“For South Africans who are desperate to use their passports yet are not ready for lengthy plane trips, exploring Africa’s Eden is a fantastic way to enjoy a bucket list holiday while supporting the recovery of regional travel and tourism,” says Kate Powell, General Manager of Marketing, Sales and Reservations for the Zambezi Queen Collection, which offers unique river safaris on the Chobe River, one of the regions contained within Africa’s Eden conservation area. The Chobe River is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, boasting one of the largest elephant populations on the continent. The Zambezi Queen Collection is even offering SADC passport holders only a saving of 45% on its all-inclusive packages on the houseboats or at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge.
“Revenge” travel is similar to “GOAT” travel and also revolves around the notion of making up for lost time. However, instead of focusing on choosing a bucket list destination for a trip of a lifetime, “revenge” travellers are determined to simply travel as much as they possibly can.
Revenge travellers see this as a strategic way in which to save more, do more, and experience more after having been starved of travel for so long. Plus, many have saved up for almost three years, which means their budgets are slightly larger and more flexible.
Self-drive holidays are still popular. Travellers love the freedom and the peace of mind that this approach to exploring a new location affords them.
For local holidays, self-drive makes it easy for visitors to revel in the diversity that South Africa is so well-known for. They can head to the beach before departing for the bush and then finish off their holiday lapping up the luxury in the Winelands. Many are also embracing the existing road trip routes as recommended by locals, such as the Cape Winelands loop, which starts off in Cape Town, takes road trippers through to Stellenbosch, Hermanus, and Betty’s Bay, before concluding in the Mother City once again.
Lockdown restrictions and the need for strict social distancing over the past two years has meant that most South Africans haven’t had the luxury of spending as much time with their friends as they’re used to.
A popular choice amongst travellers planning a getaway with friends is cruising.
Since cruise ships are so advanced nowadays, it’s safe to assume that there’ll be something onboard for everyone – no matter how diverse a friendship circle may be. Plus, there’s no need to argue about where to go when you’ll be venturing to more than just one place!”
With an array of new vessels to look forward to in the upcoming years, cruising really is bigger and better than ever. Norwegian Prima created by the global cruise travel innovators, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is the first in a new class of ground-breaking ships and will set the stage for an entirely new era in cruising.
If wining and dining is what you’re after, the luxury, small boutique Oceania Cruises is celebrated for its exclusive on-board Dom Perignon pairing dinner. Offered on-board either the Riviera or Marina vessels, you’ll be treated to a perfectly put-together 6-course meal.
“It’s a gastronomic experience set to rival any that guests have enjoyed on-shore, and likely one which you’ll still think fondly back on in 20 or 30 years from now,” says Riet Goetschalckx, Director of Sales and Marketing at Oceania Cruises.
At the start of the pandemic, when the vast majority of people were forced to remain indoors for weeks on end, it became evident just how quickly nature could recover when humans weren’t causing any disturbances. If it wasn’t already on the increase, sustainability and ecotourism are certainly on everyone’s minds today! According to statistics, the ecotourism market is set to reach a value of approximately $333.8 billion by 2027, up from just $181.1 billion pre-pandemic in 2019.
Essentially, travellers are making eco-conscious choices and booking with travel suppliers that demonstrate a concern regarding their impact on the planet and local communities.
“Many destinations and travel suppliers are taking a fresh approach to sustainability and working to draw in ecotourists from far and wide. In Mozambique, for example, Gorongosa National Park is known for its conservation model that prioritises finding a balance between the needs of both wildlife and people. There are also many resorts and lodges that contribute a certain portion of their profits to conservation and community development,” says Natalie Tenzer Silva, Director at Dana Tours.
Last minute getaways
Last minute getaways remain popular with a very short lead time.
“We are back into the pattern of a very short lead-time – this is what we saw for months post restrictions being lifted the first time around,” says Sue Garrett, General Manager Supply, Pricing and Marketing, Flight Centre Travel Group. “But by about September 2021, we noticed that the lead time was being extended. I expect the short lead time will be something of a pattern for a period of time again.”
Multi-generation holidays (travel parties comprising multiple generations from within one family, such as children, parents, and grandparents) are increasing for similar reasons to the predicted spike in friendcations. Lockdown restrictions prevented people from visiting their family members, and their elderly relatives, in particular. Multi-generation vacations allow time for relatives to reconnect and create new memories together.
There’s no doubt that there will be plenty more changes and trends to come, many of which we simply can’t predict or plan for! Here’s to fresh opportunities, renewed hope, and travel aplenty.