While Covid-19 is still in the rear-view mirror, an unwavering sense of optimism for the future of travel is taking its place. Booking.com commissioned a thorough research with more than 24,000 travellers across 31 countries and territories 1, including India, to predict how travel would continue to be redefined in 2022, combining it with its own data and insights as a digital travel leader for the past 25 years.
According to its 'Travel Predictions 2022 Research,' 2022 will be the year to capitalise on uncertainty and begin making up for lost vacation time in a big manner, with the percentage of travellers who believe they need to do so increasing 52 per cent year over year*. The forecasts illustrate how individuals will rekindle their passion for travel in the coming year. It's all about seizing the day in 2022 and making every journey meaningful, whether it's as part of a self-care routine or the excitement of just saying yes to whatever travel possibilities and experiences come their way.
Vitamin Vacay: Travel will become an essential part of self-care
Getting away on vacation, more than daily exercise or mindful meditation, will become the form of self-care in 2022, with over 84 per cent of Indian travellers stating that travel enhances their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other types of rest and relaxation. After more than a year of ever-changing travel restrictions, the significant health and wellness advantages of travel are now being recognised. According to the study, 85 per cent of Indian travellers believe that having a holiday planned improves their mental well-being, and 69 per cent of Indian travellers said they didn't know how important travel was to their well-being until it was no longer a possibility.
Resetting the Out Of (Home) Office: Vacation time will be strictly work free
When the epidemic struck, houses all over the world became our offices, and the novelty of working from home became apparent. However, in 2022, we'll see a significant increase in people wanting to reclaim control in order to firmly re-establish a healthy work-life balance, as 77 per cent of Indian travellers' vacation time will be strictly work-free, which wasn't always the case in 2021, when home and remote work lives were blurred. We expect to see more people setting their well-deserved out of (home) office messages in 2022, with 76 per cent of Indian travellers claiming to have worked more hours and used fewer vacation days during the pandemic.
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 we left our passports or even how to pack, in 2022, all of our out-of-practice travel awkwardness will give way to true delight in even the most mundane aspects of our visits. Rather of racing through the voyage after feeling 'stuck' for so long, travellers will be savouring every moment. The majority of Indian travellers report that simple joys like feeling the sun on their skin (75 per cent) or seeing a body of water of some kind instantly changes their mood for the better, so each of our 'first' visits in 2022 will be a moment to relish (84 per cent). Even the uncertainty of navigating public transit in a new city in a foreign language is something that 75 per cent of Indian travellers say they will appreciate, and 84 per cent think that travel is more pleasurable when the journey feels like part of the trip itself. Recapturing that first-time feeling and leaning in to every single moment will be a trademark of journeys in 2022 after such a long period of limited possibilities.
Community First: Authentic connection with the local community will be priority
Because movement was slowed in many parts of the world due to limitations, the epidemic encouraged us to make the most of what was there in front of us. Our relationship with the community around us has been revived, from supporting locally owned companies to spending more time than ever at the neighbourhood park. This desire to connect authentically with the local community will extend to vacations in 2022, as we strive to be more conscious of each trip we take and ensure a good impact on the locations we visit and the people who live there. To that end, 78 per cent of Indian travellers believe it is critical that their trip benefits 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 increased tourism would benefit the local community.
Swipe Right on New Places and Faces: 2022 will finally be the time to branch out and make new connections
For many of us, the epidemic meant spending an extended length of time with our closest friends and family, but vacations in 2022 will provide an opportunity to spread out and develop new connections. We expect to see travellers using their vacations to expand their usual social circles, as 81 per cent of Indian travellers want to meet new people while away. We also expect to see travellers using their vacations to socialise, with 77 per cent of Indian travellers looking forward to socialising while on vacation. Holiday romances are expected to resurface, with 77 per cent of those looking for one on their next vacation.
Just Say Yes: People will be saying YES to travel, making up for the lost travel time
After hearing "no" for so long, travellers are recovering a more optimistic outlook for 2022. The finest of improv will be brought to travel in the next year, with us reacting with an emphatic "yes, and..." to each unexpected twist and turn in the journey. To that end, roughly 83 per cent of Indian travellers agree that if their budget allows, they will say yes to every vacation option. 79 per cent of Indian travellers are more open to other types of vacations than they were before the pandemic, and 65 per cent don't care where they go on holiday as long as it's the type of vacation they want; they're simply pleased to be away from home. Adopting a positive mindset will allow travellers to see more of the world than ever before, with many taking a more adventurous approach to their vacation plans, and perhaps even their travel companions.
Embracing the Unpredictable: People will use technology to embrace travel's continued unpredictability
In 2022, uncertainty will be a constant in travel, and while we won't be able to control or forecast every new surprise and challenge that fate has in store for us, we will welcome it. Over the last year and a half, we've relied on technology in a number of ways to stay connected and inspired, and our favourite applications will continue to aid us in navigating the unknown on our travels, with 76 per cent of Indian travellers believing that technology helps ease travel anxiety. With growing refinement and proactivity, technology will continue to smooth out the unexpected bumps on the path.
Ritu Mehrotra, Regional Manager, South Asia at Booking.com, said, "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. We will be there for travellers, offering the widest choice, great value, and the easiest experience from anywhere and on any device, so people can reclaim their travel mojo and enjoy all of the unforgettable experiences this world has to offer, when it's safe to do so again."