Research is finding that although the effects of COVID-19 are still being felt going into 2022, governmental restrictions on travel are relaxing, with the WHO and UNWTO urging nations to lift blanket travel bans and mandatory vaccination requirements. Efforts like these and consumers’ strong desire to return to travel are leading to increases in both international and domestic travel.
In the adventure travel sector, tour operators are feeling positive about the upcoming year, particularly those in North America, Europe, and LATAM. Adventure travelers are looking for more sustainable options and want to support the communities they are visiting; however, these communities are some of the most at-risk to the continuing negative effects of the pandemic. Efforts are being made to combat these social divides, for example bringing Indigenous groups into conversations and improving financial accessibility.
Read on to learn more about the top 10 trends affecting adventure travel in 2022, as identified by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA):
Top 10 Trends:
- International Travel Improves
As expected, international travel is improving from its 2020 US$ 4.5 trillion drop in GDP. Q4 2021 projections from WTTC show a rise in both international and domestic travel, with travel and tourism GDP expected to rise by 30.7% in 2021 and 31.7% in 2022. The WTTC expects that as more destinations ease restrictions and vaccination rates continue to rise, international spending will increase by 93.8% in 2022 to overtake domestic spending this year. However, domestic travel will continue to be an essential part of the industry’s recovery.
- Domestic Travel Stays Strong
Approximately half of global travelers plan to travel for a domestic holiday in 2022, with that number being higher in the U.S. and Europe. Domestic hotel bookings on Trip.com saw double-digit growth in 2020 compared to 2019, and increased over 200% when comparing 2019 to 2021.
Particularly in the adventure segment of the travel industry, travelers are looking to engage with nature on a more frequent basis. To help travelers with limited time reconnect with the world around them, some adventure travel companies, like Much Better Adventures, are offering mini stays in remote locations. Getting away for even one night can have similar positive effects on mental and emotional health as more traditional getaways.
- Travel’s Environmental Impact Awareness
- Travel’s Environmental Impact Action
- Sustainable Food and Drink
- The Nomad Economy
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is Being Recognized
- Ruralization and Communitization of Travel
- Social Divides Deepen
- The Financialization of Travel
This is an excerpt from an article by Heather Kelly, originally published by the Adventure Travel Trade Association.