December 14, 2021 8:50:24 pm
The travel industry was affected the most in the pandemic. With countries closing their borders, restricting movement of people so as to prevent or at least slow the spread of the Covid infection, the industry underwent major changes.
Even now, with people getting vaccinated, travelling is still seen as a cautious act with various viral mutations that pose a threat to health. As such, digital travel company Booking.com shares — as part of its ‘Travel Predictions 2022 Research’ — seven notable trends that will redefine travel in 2022.
1. Vitamin vacay: Travel an essential part of self-care
More so than daily exercise or mindful meditation, getting away on vacation will become the form of self-care in 2022, with over 84 per cent of Indian travellers affirming that travel helps their mental and emotional well-being more than other forms of rest and relaxation. The important benefits that travel has on health are now being acknowledged. Predictions reveal that 85 per cent of Indian travellers believe having a planned vacation has a positive impact on their emotional well-being and 69 per cent say they didn’t realise how important travel was until it was no longer an option.
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2. Resetting the out of (home) office: Vacation time strictly work-free
When the pandemic hit, the novelty of working remotely was realised. In 2022, we will see a significant rise in people wanting to take back control in a bid to firmly re-establish a healthy work-life balance, as vacation time itself will be strictly work-free for 77 per cent of Indian travellers, which wasn’t always the case in 2021. And with 76 per cent claiming to have worked more hours using less vacation days during the pandemic, expect to see more people setting their well deserved out of (home) office messages in 2022.
3. First-time feels: Anticipation of journey as exciting as destination
After feeling ‘stuck’ for so long, rather than rushing through the journey, travellers will be relishing every moment. Each ‘first’ of our trips in 2022 will be a moment to savour, with a majority of Indian travellers saying that simple pleasures like feeling the sun on their skin (75 per cent) or seeing a body of water (84 per cent) improve their mood. Even the uncertainty of navigating public transportation in a new city in a foreign language is something 75 per cent of Indian travellers say they will enjoy, while 84 per cent say travel is more enjoyable when the journey feels like part of the trip itself.
4. Community first: Authentic connection with the local community
In 2022, the desire to connect authentically with the local community will continue on vacation, too, as we seek to be more mindful about every trip. To this effect, 78 per cent of travellers agree it’s important that their trip is beneficial to the local community and 75 per cent would appreciate an app or website that provides recommendations on destinations where an increase in tourism would have a positive impact on the community.
5. Swipe right on new places, faces
Vacations in 2022 will be an opportunity to branch out and make some new connections. As 81 per cent of Indian travellers want to meet new people while away, expect to see them expanding their social circles, with 77 per cent looking forward to socialising while on vacation. A resurgence of holiday romances is also predicted with 77 per cent hoping for it.
6. Just say yes: People will make up for lost travel time
The coming year will bring the best of improv travel. To that end, nearly 83 per cent of Indian travellers agree they will say yes to any vacation opportunity if budget allows, and 79 per cent are more open to different types of vacation; 65 per cent won’t mind where they go as long as it’s the type of trip they want. Adopting a positive mentality will open up even more of the world to travellers than ever before.
7. Embracing the unpredictable
Uncertainty will continue to be a travel constant in 2022. Having leaned on technology in a variety of ways to stay connected, our favorite apps will continue to help us navigate the unknown on our trips, with 76 per cent of Indian travellers agreeing that technology helps alleviate the anxiety around traveling.
Ritu Mehrotra, regional manager, South Asia at Booking.com said about the trends, “As we look towards the year ahead, we’re seeing a lot of anticipation for Indian travellers to return to travel. Whether it’s domestically or abroad or just saying ‘yes’ to whatever travel opportunity comes their way, it’s our mission to make it easier for everyone to explore again, when the time is right.”
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