After the last couple of years of closed borders followed by strict rules regarding social distancing, face masks, and a limited number of tourists per tour, and places in general, 2022 summer carried big expectations for the tourism industry.
Countries are removing covid-related entry requirements for travelers. Without restrictions on the country they're arriving from and vaccination status, tourists have easier entry to their destinations and are retaking vacations. And for this, the tourism industry has prepared for the travel demand.
The expectations for 2022
According to the Top 10 Summer European Destinations review, by Allianz Partners, in 2022, travel to Europe will rise 600% over last year as countries re-open for visitation from the U.S. The review showed, in addition to the eagerness of Americans to travel to Europe, the most popular places on their itineraries. The top cities on the American travel list were London, Paris, Dublin, and Reykjavik.
The company published in April 2022 analyzed more than 40.000 flight itineraries in the range of 29th May and 5th September.
How was European summer tourism
Before the pandemic, the travel and tourism industry was experiencing its peak in numbers - including the number of international visitors, how much tourists were spending, days of layover, and more. So the expectation for this year's summer was to get closer and closer to the numbers we had in 2019.
Eurostat showed that in July 2022, the number of commercial flights in the European Union countries had reached 85% of pre-covid levels, the same as August 2022 (86% of August 2019 figures).
In numbers, how was July 2022:
- The United Kingdom received 1.9 million tourists in July, 88% of those came in July 2019;
- Germany had 1.1 million visitors, representing 88% of visitors in 2019;
- Spain had 9.1 million tourists in July. Which means 92% of the arrivals in July 2019;
- France received more than 1.4 million visitors - 98% compared to 2019.
The most significant number of tourists arriving at these destinations has been from the USA.- they represent 85% of arrivals.
The forecast for the tourism market is optimistic, and the numbers show that we're approaching pre-pandemic figures. But, the way people are traveling is the same as before covid?
How tourists are traveling in 2022
Travelers are booking their next destination in short search windows
Even though travelers are more confident in booking their vacation ahead of time rather than leaving it to the last minute, there are still numerous people looking at trips in the near term.
The Traveler Insights Report 2022, which analyzed the second quarter of Q2, showed that searches up to the maximum of a 90–days window increased more than 5% globally, and searches in the 61- to 90–day window saw the most significant quarter-over-quarter boost at 15%.
It could be a direct result of the uncertainties we face during the pandemic, or it could be a consequence of the agility technology offers when buying a flight ticket or booking an activity.
The report also showed that most consumers - 53% - feel comfortable booking travel less than one month in advance.
Tourists want to have a meaningful travel experience
Traveling has become more than getting to visit new locations. People are searching for purposeful, life-changing experiences.
Part of the provided experience it's in the hands of those who guide the tour; they have the chance to amaze and inspire travelers. To learn how to master the art of guiding, read 10 qualities every good tour guide needs.
Family traveling is back
Even though during the pandemic, the total number of families internationally vacationing declined, the Traveler Insights Report 2022 Q2 revealed that international family travel has recovered to pre-covid numbers. Family groups represent the type of group that spends more per night and bookings.
Solo travel is also on the rise
While we see more and more people taking a family vacation, there is also an increase in people traveling on their own. More popular between Millennials and Gen Z, the reason why people are choosing to travel solo are many; some of them need to see the world at their own pace and the feeling of freedom and independence.
The online searches for the term 'solo travel' increased by 267% from December 2020 to April 2022, so it might be only the beginning of a new major type of traveler.
Tourists want to see inclusive travel
As the travel industry continues to get back on its feet, the importance of offering services for everyone equally and a commitment to inclusion and diversity has become a must for most travelers.
The Inclusive Travel Insights Report showed that for 92% of consumers, it's essential for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all travelers and that 7 out of 10 travelers would choose a destination, lodging, or transportation option that is more inclusive of all types of travelers, even if it's more expensive.
Supporting local culture
The Expedia Group survey showed that 6 out 10 travelers are interested in learning about travel options supporting locals.
Travelers are searching for authentic experiences and finding places that are far from the mainstream. Vacations and traveling have become more than just a trip but a lifetime opportunity for experiencing new things.
Growing demand for adventure destinations
Authentic experiences are rising, and travelers want to live customized experiences and great adventures.
The Expedia Group survey showed that the top reasons for upcoming travel during the next 12 months included exploring a new location (32%) and trying new experiences (25%).
According to a recent study by Future Market Insights, adventure tourism includes scuba diving, cycling, rafting, trekking, and many other activities that are in a natural environment. The report also revealed that soft adventure is the category more pursued; it represents 60% of the entire adventure tourism market - these soft activities are the ones with a low-risk level.
For Europeans, the trend of micro-adventures - hikes and adventures close to home - is also rising. Some outdoor activities most in demand include stand-up paddling, mountain biking, and wing foiling.
Technology has a significant responsibility over the increase of adventure activities bookings. The mobile-friendly websites, videos and images of the tours and activities, and price comparisons are helping travelers to know more about the location, the highlights, and the places being offered.
Sustainability in the travel industry
Being outdoors and enjoying nature is one of the main reasons why people travel, and being careful with nature has become a turning point when booking an activity. Some businesses apply CO2 offset, choose sustainable vehicles, or support a local, sustainable project.
How to prepare your business for the new trends
Remember that keeping track of the new trends needs to follow your business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). To learn more about measuring results, read 6 key performance indicators (KPIs) for tour and activity providers.
Offering the greatest traveler experience is a combination of different factors. Keep offering genuine lifetime adventures and listen to your customers' needs to plan your business's next steps.
Our free booking conversion guide will help you understand your customers, plus learn how to write killer trip descriptions, how to optimize your call-to-action, and much more.