In its most extensive travel predictions research to date, the digital travel leader reveals a renewed sense of optimism amongst Indian travellers, fueling a hunger to embrace the new normal and get back out to fully experience the world in the year ahead.
While COVID-19 is not yet in the rearview mirror, an indefatigable sense of hope for travel is beginning to take its place. To explore this rolling wave of travel optimism, Booking.com has commissioned extensive research with more than 24,000 travellers across 31 countries and territories including India, combining it with its proprietary data and insights as a digital travel leader for the past 25 years, to predict how travel will continue to be redefined in 2022.
1.Vitamin Vacay: Travel will become 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 wellbeing more than other forms of rest and relaxation. After more than a year of ever-evolving travel restrictions, the important benefits that travel has on health and wellbeing are now being acknowledged. Booking.com’s Travel Predictions research reveals that 85 per cent of Indian travellers believe that having a vacation planned has a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing and 69 per cent of Indian travellers say that they didn’t realize how important travel was to their wellbeing until it was no longer an option.
2. Resetting the Out Of (Home) Office : Vacation time will be strictly work free
When the pandemic hit, homes across the globe became our offices too, and the novelty of working remotely was realized. However, in 2022 we’ll 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 in 2022, which wasn’t always the case in 2021 with home and remote work lives blurred. And with 76 per cent of Indian travellers claiming to have worked more hours using fewer vacation days during the pandemic, we expect to see more people setting their well deserved (home) office messages in 2022.
3.All the First-Time Feels: The anticipation of the journey will be as exciting as the destination
While many of us may have forgotten where our passport is or even just how to pack, all that out-of-practice travel awkwardness will give way to a genuine sense of delight for even the most routine aspects of our trips in 2022. 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 such as feeling the sun on their skin (75 per cent) or seeing a body of water of some kind instantly improves their mood for the better (84 per cent). 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’ll enjoy while 84 per cent of Indian travellers say that travel is more enjoyable when the journey feels like part of the trip itself. After such a long period of limited options, recapturing that first-time feel and leaning in to every single moment will be a hallmark of trips in 2022.
4. Community First: Authentic connection with the local community will be a priority
As restrictions caused travel to slow in many parts of the world, the pandemic forced us to make the most of what was on our doorsteps. From supporting independently owned businesses to spending more time than ever at the neighborhood park, our relationship with the community around us has rekindled. In 2022, this desire to connect authentically with the local community will continue on vacation too, as we seek to be more mindful about every trip we take and ensure our impact on the places we visit and the people who live there is positive. To this effect, 78 per cent of Indian travellers agree it’s important that their trip is beneficial to the local community at their destination and 75 per cent of Indian travellers would appreciate an app or website that provides recommendations on destinations where an increase in tourism would have a positive impact on the local community.
5. Swipe Right on New Places and Faces: 2022 will finally be the time to branch out and make new connections
For many, the pandemic meant spending an extended and intense period with our closest friends and loved ones, but 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, we expect to see travellers using their vacations as an opportunity to expand their usual social circles, with 77 per cent of Indian travellers looking forward to socializing while on vacation. A resurgence of holiday romances is also predicted with 77 per cent hoping for a holiday romance on their next trip.
6. Just Say Yes: People will be saying YES to travel, making up for the lost travel time
After so long of being told ‘no’ travellers are reclaiming a more positive way of thinking for 2022. The coming year will bring the very best of improv to travel, with us responding to each unexpected twist and turn in the trip with an emphatic ‘yes, and…’. To that end, nearly 83 per cent of Indian travellers agree they will say yes to any vacation opportunity if budget allows. 79 per cent of Indian travellers are more open to different types of vacation than before the pandemic and 65 per cent of Indian travellers won’t mind where they go on vacation as long as it’s the type of trip they want, they’re just happy to be away from home. Adopting a positive mentality will open up even more of the world to travellers than ever before, with many taking a more adventurous approach to their holiday choices, and maybe even their companions.
7. Embracing the Unpredictable: People will use technology to embrace travels continued unpredictability
Uncertainty will continue to be a constant in travel in 2022, and while we cannot change or predict every new surprise and challenge that fate has in store for us, we will embrace it. Having half, our favourite apps will continue to help us navigate the unknown on our trips, with 76% of Indian travellers agreeing that technology helps alleviate the anxiety around travelling. Technology will continue to smooth out the unforeseen bumps in the road with increasing finesse and proactivity.