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Three Travel Trends For 2022

Three Travel Trends For 2022

There’s no question about it—travel is definitely back on the rise with travel restrictions coming down in every major tourism country and COVID requirements lowering in states and cities as well. Now that you’re ready to hit the road (or the skies) once again, you might be wondering what’s new in the world of travel and tourism.

We chatted with Jennifer Andre, VP of Business Development, Expedia Group Media Solutions, about three of the major travel trends to keep your eyes on this year. Click through to see what trends are making a splash and start planning your travel!

2022 Travel Trends

Vacation Rentals

“A big trend that we have seen and is continuing is travelers really leaning into vacation rentals. We’ve actually seen the trend of vacation rentals continuing, but lodging is also coming back,” Andre told us. “The good news is, is that you know, people discovered vacation rentals that may not have discovered it before, you know, so they enjoyed it. And so that trend is still continuing. I expect it to continue.”

With travelers spreading out more than before and hoping for a bit of extra space, the use of vacation rental sites like Vrbo increased significantly during the pandemic. Whether you’re hoping for a unique travel experience, want to spread out a bit more (and possibly still keep some distance) or are hoping to truly immerse yourself in a new place, a vacation rental can provide a perfect solution. There’s an ideal rental for every traveler, from those looking for a picturesque beach house to the pet parents hoping to bring their furry friends and the extended families that want the perfect reunion space

“I think we’ve had this opportunity in COVID to introduce more people who may not have considered a vacation rental and look at that as an option. And that, you know, I think people’s lodging choices vary depending on where they’re going,” Andre said. “If you’re going to a city, you know, you might be more apt to stay in a chain hotel. If you’re going to a beach destination where there aren’t many hotels, you’re more likely to stay in vacation rentals. So I think that’s really where we’ve seen kind of traveler behaviors change, but the good news is, you know, all types of lodging are coming back.”

EcoTourism & Sustainability

“Another trend that isn’t really super surprising, but it’s good for the industry, is really sustainable tourism,” Andre told us. “And so, we’ve done a lot of research, and we just conducted a piece of research with Wakefield that just surveyed what’s going on in the hearts and minds of travelers in terms of sustainability, and there’s a real movement towards wanting to travel in a sustainable way. I think many travelers are just feeling very overwhelmed with how to do that.” 

Ecotourism has certainly become a hot topic in the last few years, since before the pandemic started. While seeing the reversal of pollution mishaps during the lockdown, travelers have understandably become more conscious of the environmental impacts they make in general and while they travel. Destinations like Tulum that are considered exceptionally eco-friendly have been increasingly more popular, but there are other efforts travelers can make to increase sustainability. 

“The research is telling us that they’re willing to pay more. They’re avoiding destinations that they don’t think are sustainable, but I think there’s a real opportunity for our industry to start messaging that out,” Andre said of education efforts. “We had a partner mention an airline talking about how there are so many things that add to the weight of the plane, like how many bags you pack. So the lighter you travel, the more sustainable you are, and you’re actually creating an impact. There are those little education points, and how do we incentivize travelers, educate them, but also give them a reason to make those sustainable choices.”

Rural Destinations & Small-Town Getaways

You may have taken a few road trips during the pandemic—or maybe known a few people who did. The good news—those small-town getaways and off-beat trips aren’t going anywhere. We wanted to know if the rural destinations are still on the radar. 

“We haven’t seen a noticeable drop, but my hope is that because people have been exploring domestic travel so much throughout COVID—they took trips in their backyard that they may not have considered before because they were planning on getting on that—that will continue,” Andre said. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean the big trips aren’t still a major priority for travelers. “Those big bucket list trips that people have been wanting to take, that’s where we’re seeing a lot of this pent-up demand, too, and I also think it’ll be interesting to see what the hybrid work policies do,” Andre told us. 

“Those policies make it a lot easier to just go somewhere close by, or, you know, go to the mountains for the long weekend. We’ll be watching to see kind of what those trends are. And now that business travelers are coming back; there are leisure opportunities for travelers to tack on a few days and the destination.”

 

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