These five trends will shape the future of travel

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With the official kick-off of 2022, many of us envision more optimistic times. Whether you want to book a trip now or dream about your favorite form of escape, chances are you are planning with a lot more intention. (After all, we’ve had plenty of time to think about where we’ll be visiting, with whom, and why.) For inspiration, we asked three industry experts to predict the travel trends that will shape the year ahead.

Nature will be irresistible

It used to be that we yearned for strong espressos in bustling sidewalk cafes, shopping on bustling cobblestone streets, and nightlife in town. In 2022, however, expect people to gravitate towards skyscraper-free sights and recreation in nature – forest swimming, bird watching, stargazing, and maybe catching the eerie sunrise. Spirit of the West Adventures is just one example of a tour operator offering outdoor immersions like BC kayak tours that can be private for your bubble. Think glamping, sea air, mountain scenery, and relaxing time in their base camp’s wood-fired hot tub.

“The leisure traveler has chosen national resorts with beach or mountain access or wide open spaces,” says Jan Freitag, national director of hotel analysis at CoStar Group, who collects the numbers that help hotels to assess the request. “We expect this to continue in 2022.”

Bruce Poon Tip, Founder of G Adventures, echoed this sentiment, noting that the spacious and leafy places are the most chosen destinations by its tour operator, with Costa Rica, the Galapagos and Italy being among the first. “People want to get closer to nature,” he says. “Some are much more adventurous and want to go on active, strenuous hikes and climb mountains. But everyone just wants a general outdoor activity.

Workstations are here to stay

Your laptop can be as crucial as your passport to your travel in 2022. While it might not seem exciting at first, mixing business with pleasure could be a ticket to more freedom (depending on your job). In the past, work often meant showing up, pointing and pushing paper into a cubicle. Now we’ve perfected the art of getting things done outside of the office – and far.

“We see people traveling with us who haven’t actually taken ‘vacation time’. They take advantage of the afternoon to catch up on e-mails. They work evenings or skip dinner because they have a deadline, ”says Poon Tip. “The workstation model is definitely here to stay. “

Benefits include the ability to escape more frequently and extend weekend trips just because you can. So, visit the in-laws. Take the road trip. See the national park. As Hilton discovered in its Travel Trends 2022 report, the day of the week and the weekend will merge to reflect this changing work landscape. Their new WorkSpaces Program is a response to the remote working wave, allowing people to take advantage of daily rates at select Hilton hotels to meet deadlines without distraction.

Are you planning an extended stay? Test the “digital nomad” lifestyle, facilitated by residency programs launched by several countries keen to appeal to long-term tourists. Estonia, Malta, Antigua and Barbuda and Bermuda are among the places that have introduced a digital nomad visa or similar initiative, so that independent people from the place can work legally while being based there.

Active travel will pick up the pace

In the cooler that is Canada, many of us prefer one-stop beach trips where lifting a glass of margarita counts as reps. Now there’s a shift to active travel, so even if the lounge chair beckons, vacationers are making time to get moving as well.

“People have acquired a lot of new hobbies during the pandemic, whether it’s cooking or biking,” said Matt Berna, general manager of North America at the tour operator. Fearless journey. “They first look for the activity and then possibly the destination. Historically, people had a region in mind and then looked for things to do. In addition to cycling, he predicts that trekking or hiking trips will be popular for 2022.

G Adventures also sees this trend. In their October poll of 1,693 Canadians, 71 percent of respondents said they wanted to be physically active on their next trip. “It’s a massive, massive change in the tourism landscape,” says Poon Tip. The Global Wellness Institute has also predicted 21% annual growth in wellness tourism (broadly defined as improving a healthy lifestyle) through 2025.

Social trips will renew their appeal

If you start 2022 ready to reconnect with your inner social butterfly, you are not alone. “People aspire to get back together,” Poon Tip says. While the unpredictability of the pandemic means the exact timing is yet to be determined, it only intensifies our collective desire for social travel once it is safe.

At this point, interacting with others might be more prized than the Instagrammable attractions we rushed to. Research from Freitag and Hilton supports the fact that yes, celebrations and parties are making a comeback, as evidenced by the increase in group travel bookings. (Omicron’s impact has yet to be measured.)

“With the pandemic, there is so much pent-up energy. People are having fun. They want to socialize. They want to meet like-minded people from all over the world, ”says Poon Tip. To respond to the social travel trend, G Adventures and Hostelworld will partner to launch itinerant this year – offering small-group tours with hostel stays and the camaraderie that comes with these shared spaces.

Community consciousness will lead the way

As we sailed on the waves of the pandemic, we came to find a stronger purpose for travel beyond mere selfish pleasure. Already, it is evident that people care about conscious and respectful interactions with the communities they visit. “Travelers want locals to benefit,” says Poon Tip. “They want it to be a positive experience not just for themselves, but for the locals. “

Berna notices a change from the pre-pandemic time. “We’ve seen that guests are much more socially aware,” he says, noting that North American tourists have particularly enjoyed the Indigenous-led experiences of Intrepid in recent times. These tours are not on Indigenous peoples but are through Indigenous guides and focus on more in-depth conversations where visitors learn about culture, history, and storytelling. One example is the company’s new tour of the Okanagan, British Columbia, led by the Osoyoos.

This emphasis on ethical community engagement means that traveler comments and requests also sound different. In the past, visiting guests might be particularly upset by a lackluster hotel or feel aggrieved if they didn’t have a room with a view. Now they are concerned with other issues, Berna notes, such as wanting their meals to be 100% authentic in an area and ensuring that animals on trekking trips are treated fairly. “They control our actions, which is fantastic,” says Berna. “They come to us for these values, and we want to make sure that we match their expectations. “

The federal government recommends that Canadians avoid non-essential travel. This article is intended to inspire plans for future travel.

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