Travel is making a solid comeback. With several countries relaxing Covid restrictions and travelers recovering confidence in visiting, industry numbers are on track to exceed even pre-pandemic levels. I investigated five rising travel trends for the summer to better understand where Travelers Go In Summer and why.
Vacations with the family
Many people are eager to reunite with extended family after two years of on-and-off quarantine and having to postpone or cancel significant milestones such as birthdays, marriages, and graduations. In fact, over two-thirds of customers indicate they intend to Travelers Go In Summer with their families more in 2022 than in 2021. And now that vaccines for children under the age of five are legal in the United States, I expect these figures to grow much further.
But are families flocking to long-standing favorites such as Disney World and Disneyland? Those aren’t going away, but I believe the historical concept of “family vacation” is expanding to be more multigenerational to compensate for the time and memories lost. As a result, families will widen their horizons beyond the conventional “kid-friendly” destinations to include settings and activities that are informative and engaging for people of all ages. Yellowstone National Park, Boston, New York City, Cancun, and Cape Cod are just a few examples.
Dream vacation spots
Whereas 2021 saw a shift toward domestic travel, 2022 appears to be the year of the international, once-in-a-lifetime journey, garnering the moniker “The Year of the GOAT.”
Consider ideal places such as the Maldives, Bora Bora, Petra, and Machu Picchu, as well as luxury price tags to match. All age groups, notable millennials, are eager to spend big on fantasy vacations, and many can afford it after two years of saving and planning.
Why the abrupt change? Even as governments continue to relax regulations and we welcome Covid as a new (somewhat) passable regular, visitors are cautious of what is to come. Still, they also recognize the value of savoring the moment. Similarly, tourists have grown more at ease scheduling a vacation that they may have to change or cancel due to pandemic-related restrictions.
The impact of tourism
One of the defining keywords of 2022 travel may be impact tourism. This trend reflects a trend among travelers to prioritize places and activities that promote environmental sustainability and local community investment.
While impact tourism is not new, it remained a relatively small sector before the epidemic. However, more and more established hotels are changing their marketing, programming, and operations to attract more sophisticated visitors. Major chains are ready to adapt to keep revenues flowing in, from partnering with local vendors and non-profits to offering guests low-impact activities and pushing carbon offsets.
Take, for example, Costa Rica. It’s a world leader in sustainability, with more than 98 percent of its electricity coming from renewable sources and 26 percent of its land committed to conservation. It has white sand beaches like its Caribbean neighbors. And tourists are flocking. It may also assist that Costa Rica was the first country to reopen its borders to travelers following the initial lockdown and the first to abandon mandatory Covid testing for entry.
Return to Europe
While some European nations still demand Travelers Go In Summer to produce proof of vaccination or recovery upon entrance, several have removed all requirements. And the rest of the world is flooding back in to take advantage of it.
Some expect that travel to Europe from the United States will increase by up to 600 percent by 2021. Americans, in particular, want to spend their summer vacation in Greece, Italy, France, and Spain.
Most people will not consider a vacation to or across Europe to be innovative. However, many of these countries imposed some of the most stringent and extensive Covid-19 restrictions and have only recently begun to modify the protocol. Simultaneously, 8 out of 10 Europeans want to travel across the continent between now and September. This surge in travel may restore specific tourist sites to their pre-pandemic glory. However, balancing crowds may be critical to enticing visitors and keeping them coming back for more.
With the ongoing emphasis on self-care, it’s no wonder that wellness-focused travel is having a moment. Wellness tourism is growing at a rate that is 50 percent faster than traditional tourism. Andy Barge of Six Senses Ibiza states that “wellness and well-being are no longer viewed as an indulgence, but rather as responsible investments and priority components of people’s daily routines.”
However, today’s wellness includes more than just yoga, spa treatments, and health-focused diets. Couple therapy and intimacy retreats are an intriguing trend within the more significant wellness travel market. To suit this expanding demand, travel companies and hotels are getting innovative.
While the destination and reason vary, one consistent theme emerges from all five trends: intention. The pandemic has undoubtedly altered our perception of travel. And today’s traveler is more aware of how they spend their money and time. So, tell me, where do you plan on spending your time off this summer?