SINGAPORE, 14 January 2202: G Adventures has dug into its data to reveal what travellers are looking for as the world opens up again. While there is still some uncertainty in terms of changing requirements for travel in the face of the global pandemic, one thing is clearer than ever – the traveller has changed.
Assisted by its panel of avid travellers, G Adventures has identified the top 10 trends for travelling in 2022, with insights into how people want to travel and where they want to go. These patterns have been coupled with new trip highlights launched for travel this year by the adventure operator and community tourism pioneer and newsworthy reasons for people to visit.
G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip says the trends reveal the pandemic has produced a more conscious traveller and has presented operators with a huge opportunity for change.
“The pandemic has woken travellers up and given them a chance to reflect on how they were travelling before. The data tells us people have become more purposeful and intentional about how and why they are travelling and where they are going. They recognise the positive impact of travel on local communities when decisions are made wisely.
“These trends point towards a seismic shift in travellers’ habits. It only takes a small number of people to make a huge difference, and travellers are finally seeing how smart choices can positively benefit local people and deliver a richer travel experience at the same time,” says Poon Tip.
G Adventures presents 10 predictions for 2022 travel
1.THE TREND: Community tourism is the solution to responsible travel
According to G Adventures’ latest panel research, close to a third (28%*) of Aussie and Kiwi respondents say they will place more focus on travelling responsibly in 2022. With the increased focus on community and support of locally-owned businesses fostered during the pandemic, it makes sense that this mindset carries over into international travel plans. Travellers are looking for adventures that support community tourism, and trails are a great way for tourists to spread wealth through multiple smaller villages.
THE TRIP: Highlights of the Trans Bhutan Trail
In April 2022, following two years of extensive restoration, the Kingdom of Bhutan will reopen its historic and sacred Trans Bhutan Trail for the first time in 60 years, supporting remote communities in Bhutan through community tourism. Serendipitously, bookings to Bhutan are up 60% globally for 2022. G Adventures is the first operator to run tours on this ancient trail, and a 12-day Active trip travelling from Paro return is priced from AUD5,399pp for departures from 1 May 2022.
2.THE TREND: Travellers care most about supporting local people
The most important factor for people when they travel is that their money benefits local people, at 68%. This trend has been intensified by the impact of the pandemic on those countries that rely on tourism for their economic survival. It came in well ahead of other important considerations such as minimising one’s carbon footprint and reducing plastics consumption (both at 15 per cent globally).
THE TRIP: Highlights of Egypt
Egypt’s tourism industry was devastated by the Arab Spring and again by the pandemic, but it was one of the first to reopen tourism this year, with G Adventures’ tours restarting in February 2021. In 2022, Egypt has increased its share of bookings by 22% globally, and with the reopening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, the opening of the Pyramid of Dozer, the reopening of Luxor’s Avenue of Sphinxes, and the release of Kenneth’s Branagh’s rebooted Death on the Nile film, it’ll continue to be firmly in the media spotlight. A 14-day trip travelling from Cairo return is priced from AUD2,299pp.
3.THE TREND: Travellers will have a bit more cash to splash
With staying in spurring a savings boom, 24% of travel-starved Aussies and Kiwis said they had increased their travel budget for their next international holiday, which means their travel dollars are likely to take them on bigger adventures than they might have thought possible before.
Japan was expecting a huge tourist boom as a result of the summer Olympics and had been heavily spotlighted before Covid closed the country’s borders. Although it remains closed, there is pent up demand, and those with little extra savings may turn their attention to a dream trip to Japan as restrictions are lifted. National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures ‘Iconic Japan’ trip hits all the highlights in style. A 12-day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto is priced from AUD7,099pp.
4.THE TREND: ‘Workations’ increase in popularity
As the world shifted to remote working, companies realised office confines were no longer required to ensure productivity. Previously the domain of the digital nomad, ‘workations’ have hit the mainstream. 20% of respondents to G Adventures’ most recent survey say they are able to ‘work from anywhere – with that number rising to 46 per cent for those aged 18-34. An increasing number of people plan to combine work with travel in future at 20%, up from 14% in December 2020.
Only one of four countries to lift all restrictions for travel according to the UNWTO, Costa Rica has firmly positioned itself as open to travel. Keen to attract young digital nomads, the country passed a bill to allow remote workers and digital nomads to stay for up to one year. To support this trend, G Adventures to partner with Hostelworld to launch the Roamies programme of tours in late-2021, which are all ideal as a way for digital nomads to take a few days to get to know a destination before settling in at the beach for a few weeks of remote work. A six-day trip from Liberia to Tamarindo is priced from AUD719pp.
5.THE TREND: Hostels will make a big comeback
The need for social connection amongst young travellers is strong with 55% of Aussies and Kiwis aged 18-34 saying they were likely to try a hostel experience following the pandemic, and 50% of those expressing that meeting people to socialise at the hostel and possibly travel with, is the most important factor when selecting a hostel.
Mexico is super hot right now, and another new ‘Roamies’ trip designed to maximise social connection and build community, both in the handpicked-hostels and on the road, is this new six-day trip travelling from Mérida to Tulum, which is packed with highlights and priced from just AUD749pp.
6.THE TREND: Travellers want to disconnect from their devices
Workationers aside, while travellers want to reconnect with people and places, they are desperate to disconnect from the online world while on holiday.47% of respondents want to take time out from their devices, and social media, with 26% saying socialising and meeting new people is their top wellbeing priority when booking their next holiday.
G Adventures will debut its new-build boat, Reina Silvia Voyager, in 2022. Accommodating 16 passengers, with two solo cabins, she is purpose-built for comfortable small-group touring. Travellers will also be the first to visit a new G for Good project developed in partnership with Planeterra – Galapagos Coffee in Puerto Ayora – a community-owned organic coffee farm educating visitors about sustainable coffee production while providing income for 59 local families. A 10-day trip from Quito return is priced from AUD8,849pp.
7.THE TREND: The staycation is over – travellers want to go further afield
The domestic holiday appeal is wearing off as the pandemic rolls on. Only 17% of respondents said they would prefer to stay closer to home as opposed to heading further afield on their next international holiday, with close to a third – 30% – saying they were less likely to take a ‘staycation’ in 2022.
THE TRIP: Highlights of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan was a rising star pre-pandemic, and looking ahead to 2022 travel, with the trend for more remote destinations, the country has increased its share of sales by 24 per cent. 2021 marked Uzbekistan’s 30th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union, and a new airport opened in Samarkand. 2022 will also see the opening of the Silk Road Samarkand Complex, which will host the inaugural Silk Road Literary Festival, bringing even more attention to this lesser-visited nation. A 10-day trip from Tashkent return is priced from AUD1,949pp.
8.THE TREND: Lockdown life has led to a desire to be more active
67% of those surveyed want to be physically active on their next holiday, and with 63% of travellers polled saying their physical and mental wellbeing is a top consideration when booking a holiday, taking a hike never sounded more appealing.
THE TRIP: Zion to San Francisco Adventure
The United States increased its share of bookings for 2022 by 58% when compared to pre-pandemic booking levels. This led G Adventures to launch a new programme of ‘United States of Adventures’ trips that are perfectly positioned to cater to active travellers looking to exert a little more energy on their next holiday. A 14-day trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco is priced from AUD5,749pp.
9.THE TREND: Travellers are prioritising their wellbeing and mental health
With an overwhelming 93% of travellers saying travel is important to their wellbeing and mental health, travellers are also looking to take their next holiday in a way that not only helps them to reconnect but optimises travel as a means of revitalisation, too.
THE TRIP: Wellness Bali
Indonesia has been dormant for the duration of the pandemic, so there will be a tonne of pent up demand when it reopens. What better way to experience it than with this Wellness trip full of rest, relaxation and revitalisation moments, including an organic cooking class and healing ceremony in Tabanan? A nine-day trip from Ubud to Sanur is priced from AUD2,299pp.
10.THE TREND: Revenge travel is out, reconnection travel is in
Consumers are hungry for new experiences and connections. Although the term ‘revenge travel’ – the urge to travel to make up for the lost time in lockdown – gained popularity over the course of the pandemic, reconnection travel is the top reason for travelling at 40% with revenge travel – booking a trip to make up for lost time – coming in at just 16%.
THE TRIP: Trekking Eastern Iceland
A high pandemic performer, Iceland’s bookings are up 317% globally for 2022, and what better way to experience it than with this Active trip which enables travellers to connect with the local community on hikes, walks and visits local businesses. The owner of the guest house leads this trip, so it really is all about reconnecting with the planet and its people. A six-day trip from Egilsstaðir return is priced from AUD2,599pp.
* Results are based on two surveys conducted with more than 500 Australian and New Zealand consumers who are part of G Adventures’ global consumer panel, of which two-thirds are former travellers. Surveys were in-field in July and October 2021.
About G Adventures
Founded in 1990 by social entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is a small group adventure travel operator offering more than 1,000 tours in 100 countries on all seven continents. G Adventures’ award-winning trips support local communities, giving travellers meaningful experiences with people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife while offering them the freedom and flexibility to explore on their own.
For more information on G Adventures, visit www.gadventures.com.
(Your Stories: G Adventures)