Travel in 2022 will be busier than before Covid-19 pandemic, says TripAdvisor

A trends report finds more people are planning trips this year than in 2019, with new experiences and undiscovered destinations topping wish-lists

TripAdvisor's 'Travel in 2022 – A Look Ahead' study says people will also be seeking out new experiences when they travel in 2022. Unsplash

A new travel trends report suggests that 2022 will be the year that the industry rebounds, with planned trips for this year surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The new TripAdvisor study released on Wednesday found that travellers are also willing to spend more per trip than they were in 2019.

The Travel in 2022 – A Look Ahead study produced in partnership with global market research company Ipsos MORI surveyed more than 10,000 adults aged 18 to 75.

While factors related to Covid-19 such as quarantine, vaccination status and international travel rules will continue to impact traveller behaviour in the months ahead, the year-end sentiment and search data shows that the continuing demand for leisure travel remains high across the five markets surveyed – the UK, the US, Singapore, Japan and Australia.

More people are planning trips in 2022 than in 2019. Unsplash / Humphrey Muleba

In the UK, 85 per cent of respondents said they are likely to travel this year, whether domestically or abroad. In 2019, 5 per cent less people said they would travel abroad when compared with 2022, while 8 per cent less said they would travel domestically. And it is a similar story in the US, where a desire to travel abroad is up by 6 per cent compared with 2019, with the figure for domestic leisure travel up by 8 per cent compared with 2019.

Singapore leads the way in travel optimism, with 89 per cent of respondents planning to holiday in 2022. Strict travel restrictions and border limitations introduced in Singapore since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic have probably helped to fuel the Asian nation’s hunger for new pastures.

Travellers want new experiences in places with low Covid-19 case numbers

People will also be seeking out new experiences when they travel in 2022, including visiting destinations that they have not been to before.

In fact, trying new experiences is one of the leading factors for people planning trips in 2022 and beyond. A whopping 75 per cent of Americans said it was important they “see new places” on their next trip.

Majority survey respondents are willing to pay more for the privilege of travelling now than they were in 2019. Unsplash

And the majority of travellers are willing to pay more for the privilege of travelling now than they were in 2019.

According to TripAdvisor's data, American travellers are expected to spend 29 per cent more on their average trip in 2022 than they did in 2019. In Australia, the average spend has increased 16 per cent, while Singaporean travellers plan to spend 7 per cent more in 2022.

In the UK, the average spend has dipped very slightly for travel in 2022, but in Japan holidaymakers remain cautious about spending, with the average trip planner budgeting 30 per cent less on travel in 2022 than they did in 2019.

Unsurprisingly, the report confirms that Covid-19 case numbers, restrictions and travel regulations remain a factor for those making decisions about holidays.

This looks set to continue even beyond the immediate future, with more than half of respondents saying that cleanliness measures of hotels, airlines and other hospitality businesses will be an important factor in their decision-making next year, even if Covid-19 case numbers drop.

About 70 per cent of travellers in each of the markets also confirmed that destinations with low numbers of Covid-19 cases will factor highly when making decisions on where to travel next.

“Despite new variants of Covid-19, consumers across the globe still want to travel and explore,” said Kanika Soni, chief commercial officer at TripAdvisor. "This is evident in TripAdvisor month-over-month search data which shows a consistent, healthy increase in page views post-holidays.

“Travellers are quickly adapting to local public health conditions, with cleanliness and safety remaining important factors in their planning.”

Covid-19 measures put travellers off booking holidays

Pandemic restrictions and issues also impact why people are not likely to travel next year.

Many travellers who do not plan to take a holiday in 2022 say that Covid-19 restrictions are off-putting. EPA

One-third of Americans who aren’t planning to book a holiday next year said they’ve decided against it because of uncertainty surrounding possible travel restrictions.

Other concerns for those not planning to travel this year include worries over getting Covid-19 or exposing a travel partner to the disease, and restrictions or measures that could make travel less enjoyable such as social distancing and mask-wearing.

Updated: January 13th 2022, 10:27 AM