By Blake Ng — 22 Feb 2021
Updated September 2022 – If you’re an operator with tours or activities on offer, you’ll know just how important it is to nail the booking process. Not only do your customers need to be able to find you in the right places, they also need the right information and the right system so they can book, however – and whenever – they want to. While changing technology and customer expectations were already changing bookings pre-pandemic, the presence of a global virus has undoubtedly sped up the rate of change. So what’s changing in 2022 when it comes to travel industry trends?
Arguably one of the biggest changes we’re experiencing in tourism trends is the rise of health-conscious travel.
Hygiene and safety will be important factors for some time to come, and 70% of Booking.com’s survey respondents said they expected tourist attractions to adapt to allow for social distancing. A contactless booking platform using tour scheduling software is the first place to begin, so people can book from their own devices and home. If you haven’t done so already, it’s also worth updating your tour or activity listings to include your business’s COVID-safe measures so people can know exactly what to expect on the day.
The wellness industry is booming. In fact, the Health Global Wellness Institute has estimated that the wellness market will grow 10% annually over the next 3 years.
Meditation and yoga retreats are two examples of popular wellness travel trends. After experiencing added stress over the past two years, more travelers are eager to put their anxiety aside with a relaxing vacation focused on re-energizing their mental and physical health.
What can we expect from consumers in the year ahead? Here are some travel trends in 2022 that are influencing consumer behavior and the way that we view travel overall.
After two years of limited traveling, 2022 will see a boom in tourism as travelers attempt to condense two years’ worth of travel into a single year.
The World Tourism Barometer showed a 182% increase in travel in the first three months of 2022 in comparison to the same period last year. Travel restrictions have fueled our collective interest in international travel and 2022 will continue to see more travelers crossing off new destinations on their bucket lists.
The immense increase in international travelers has been a fresh source of hope to tour operators across the globe. Over the past two years, the vast majority of customers at tour operator businesses have been locals. The fact that borders have reopened means that tour operators will see an influx in international customers – and will have to be ready to accommodate for the shift in business.
A recent McKinsey survey found that over half of Americans are working from home at least once a week. WFH arrangements have inspired a large number of workers to pack up their laptops and relocate temporarily to a new city or country without needing to take leave. After all, you can easily join a Zoom meeting from a bustling airport or a quaint beachside resort.
Workations aren’t the only type of bleisure travel trends on the cards for the modern-day worker. 2022 has reintroduced work travel and conferences, with many work travelers choosing to extend their business trips by several days to enjoy a bit of solo travel time.
It’s no secret that more people are looking locally for fun right now.
In Booking.com’s research, 50% of respondents said they wanted to travel somewhere they’d already been in the past, while 43% planned to explore a new destination within their home region or country. This provides the incentive to both remarket to past guests with Rezdy automated guest communication, and to attract new bookings from fresh audiences via Rezdy Marketplace.
Independent travel is becoming more popular with the rise of the ‘solo traveler’ on Instagram and other platforms. Travel influencers are showing social media that solo travel doesn’t have to be lonely and can in fact be a great way to meet people from all across the world and seek out meaningful experiences on your own terms.
But that’s not to say social media is the only force behind the solo travel trends. It can be difficult to line up calendars and travel priorities amongst friends and family – especially against the backdrop of higher costs of living. Solo travel is a great solution to the conflicting schedules that are a side effect of living in a time where people are trying to make up for 2 years of lost travel time.
Green tourism has become a buzzword over the past few years in the tourism industry. But how is it changing in the face of 2022?
Tourists are becoming more aware of the environmental implications that overtourism poses, and are beginning to commit to conscious traveling. Below, we’ve summarized 3 of the most notable sustainable trends in tourism we’re set to experience in 2022.
Over the coming years, more people are searching for meaningful experiences out of travel. Transformative travel is dedicated to personal growth, self-actualization, and re-evaluation. It empowers people to not only learn about themselves but also their place in the world.
Transformative travel experiences tend to be focused on nature and culture. Tours provide an excellent opportunity for the transformative traveler to submerge themselves in authentic experiences. Tour operators can rise to meet the demands of the transformative traveler by providing meaningful, authentic experiences that encourage customers to engage with the local culture and environment.
Ecotourism is a new philosophy for sustainable tourism. It is a low-impact form of travel that is socially and ecologically sustainable. Often, ecotourism mixes conservation, active community participation and investing financially into local communities.
Overtourism and exploitative voluntourism can both have disastrous consequences on local ecosystems and communities. Active ecotourism takes this into account by relying on ‘soft activities’ (such as hiking or kayaking) that are often run by sustainable, locally-run tour operators.
Food tourism has taken off in the past few years, and with it has arrived organic tourism.
Organic tourism is a relatively new concept that empowers tourists to support local organic farms in their travels. This helps to counter the damaging effects of pesticides and other harmful chemicals that can be found in non-organic farms – all of which are a hazard to local ecosystems. It also provides a chance for tourists to eat more healthily and, when combined with local farm stays, get involved in the harvesting of their own food.
The ever-changing tourism industry has relied on modern technology to accommodate for the challenges introduced by Covid. Over the past several years, customers have grown to adapt to the technological trends in tourism and are driving further change.
Traveling is a mobile activity, so it makes sense that mobile bookings are becoming a defining point of a simple online booking experience. It’s safe to say that mobile booking travel trends aren’t going anywhere.
Tour operator businesses must provide a simple booking service that enables customers to book on the go. By creating mobile-optimized websites that look equally impressive on a phone screen and a desktop monitor, you’d be able to easily achieve this goal.
Using a mobile booking app such as Rezdy empowers tour operators to manage their bookings in a single platform, no matter whether the bookings originate from travel agents, mobile bookings or walk-ins.
Automation and AI both allow for a personalized customer experience and can be implemented in a diverse range of ways. Chatbots, for example, can provide 24/7 customer service on a tour business’s website. This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to ensure consistently excellent customer service that accounts for the fact that customers may be located in various time zones.
In addition to chatbots, AI can also be employed to streamline the data analysis process and provide accurate, real-time information that businesses can use to inform key decisions. Data analysis through AI is an invaluable asset to businesses looking to identify trends in bookings and deliver personalized, automated customer communications.
2022 has already proven to be a year full of change. In order to rise to the challenges presented by today’s tourism climate, tour and activity businesses must respond to travel industry trends to ensure that they are providing the experience that their customers are seeking.
To ensure that your business is ready for tomorrow, it’s important to invest in high-quality systems to streamline operations and adapt to continuing changes. Rezdy is a real-time scheduling software that helps businesses rebuild and grow their bookings in the years to come.
Experience the simplicity that comes with using an end-to-end booking management software and start a FREE 21-day trial with Rezdy today. Alternatively, you can also book a demo with our team to further understand how Rezdy can fit within your business.
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