SINGAPORE, 25 October 2021: Singapore’s launch of Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) to 11 countries this November raises travel aspirations for Singaporeans who, like their neighbours around the region, are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel after close to two years of border restrictions.
But the latest Booking.com’s predictions notes travellers still remain cautious while adopting a “wait and see” approach towards the VTLs. For most people, the travel spark should reignite in earnest during 2022.
Booking.com’s predictions come from research involving 24,000 travellers across 31 countries and territories, including Singapore.
Topping the list is how travelling helps Singaporeans with their mental and emotional wellbeing, with 70% of Singaporeans travellers saying they did not realise how important travel was to their wellbeing until border closures began and 86% saying that having a vacation planned has a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing.
More so than daily exercise or mindful meditation, getting away on vacation will become the form of self-care in 2022 for Thai travellers, with (86%) affirming that travel helps their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of rest and relaxation.
Resetting the Out Of (Home) Office
With the lines between work and life increasingly blurred, 80% of Singaporean travellers would want their upcoming vacation to be strictly work-free. 70% of people claim to have worked more hours and used fewer vacation days during the pandemic.
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 three-quarters of travellers (76%) in 2022, which wasn’t always the case in 2021 with home and remote work lives blurred.
All the First-Time Feels
While many of us 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. Each ‘first’ of our trips in 2022 will be a moment to savour, with a majority of travellers saying that simple pleasures such as feeling the sun on their skin (71%) or seeing a body of water of some kind to instantly improve their mood for the better (81%).
Border closures forced many of us to look to home to quench our travel thirst and also to support independently owned businesses that rely heavily on tourists. About two-thirds (63%) of people agree it’s crucial that their trip is beneficial to the local community at their destination, and 61% 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.
Thai travellers registered some higher evaluations; 74% agree it’s important that their trip is beneficial to the local community at their destination, and 82% 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. Furthermore, 85%3 want the money that they spend when travelling to go back to the local community, and 85%3 want to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture.
Swipe Right on New Places and Faces
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. 70% of Singaporean travellers look forward to socialising while on vacation, and 57% want to stay somewhere close to plenty of nightlife options so that they can meet new people.
76% of Thais want to meet new people while away. The research envisages travellers using their vacations as an opportunity to expand their usual social circles, with 81% of Thai travellers looking forward to socialising while on vacation. Higher than the regional average, 74% want to stay somewhere close to plenty of nightlife options so that they can meet new people.
Just Say Yes
After so long of being told “no”, travellers will reclaim a more positive way of thinking for 2022, according to the research that shows over three-quarters (81%) of Singaporean travellers agree they will say yes to any vacation opportunity if the budget allows. And for the 57% that have been saving their pennies by not taking any big trips since the pandemic started, money is no object for the trips they will take in 2022.
Embracing the Unpredictable
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. Because of this, expect to see even wider adoption of predictive technologies which can help travellers make more informed decisions, especially considering that three in four travellers would be interested in an innovative service that could predict which countries will be safe to travel to (73%), even months in advance, or automatically suggest destinations which are easy to travel to now based on their country’s and the destination’s current COVID-19 requirements (74%).
Booking.com regional manager, Mekong Region Michelle Gao concluded: “As we look ahead to the coming year, we see a lot of excitement and anticipation for people to return to travel, whether it’s domestically, internationally, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or simply saying yes to whatever travel opportunity comes their way, and it’s our mission to make it easier for everyone to do just that. We will be there for travellers, providing the widest choice, great value and the easiest experience from anywhere and on any device so that people can reclaim their travel mojo and enjoy all of the unforgettable experiences this world has to offer.”
For a deeper dive into Booking.com’s travel predictions for 2022, visit https://www.booking.com/c/trends/travelpredictions2022.htm