Coronavirus lockdown in 2020 changed us all. In 2021, India saw its worst outbreaks in the world with the second wave of the pandemic. As cases started receding, we gathered courage and moved out of our houses again. Quarantine has changed our lives and the way we travelled. The Maldives became the must-go holiday destination for Bollywood celebs, and in India, Goa was rediscovered. Exploring the lesser-known places had become the fad. These hidden gems suddenly saw a rush of bookings and were on the bucket list. But now, it seems like ‘Yesterday Once More’. The rising cases of Omicron have cast dark clouds over the travel industry. The new year is the perfect time to travel. But the third wave of Covid-19 makes the situation all the more bleak.
However, experts are hopeful of a positive turnaround. As we step into the New Year, the travel trends of 2022 show Covid-19 will continue to influence the way people choose to explore.
In the past two years, short and frequent getaways have become a favourite among travellers. The pandemic has made us all believe to ‘live in the moment’, so many people planned and booked instant holidays. Most preferred to take their own vehicles to avoid the crowd. MakeMyTrip shared in their 2022 travel trends that shorter, and more frequent instant getaways will become the new travel norm. The booking patterns on MakeMyTrip indicate that there has been a significant increase in bookings for weekend getaways, with many people booking closer to the date of travel.
Booking.com’s travel predictions say 61% of travellers will be more open to different types of vacations. In fact, after such a long stretch of sacrificing socialising, travelling, and fun, travellers will embrace a new, more positive way of thinking in 2022. The number of people who feel like they need to make up for lost vacation time has grown from 42% to 63%.
According to Expedia’s 2022 Travel Trends, nearly 26 per cent of US travellers are aiming to be more flexible with travel and are ready to go with the flow in the New Year. Another 25 per cent of the respondents said that they are willing to be more spontaneous and live in the moment. The Expedia research, which polled 12,000 travellers across 12 countries, also revealed that around 41 per cent of the US travellers want to embrace the GOAT (Greatest of All Trips) mindset by seeking out excitement. The study also found that 40 per cent of travellers are more willing than ever before to splurge on their future travels.
Booking.com’s predictions reveal travel will become an essential form of self-care in 2022. According to Booking.com research, 79% of travellers agree that travel helps in their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of self-care. The online travel agency mentioned in their research that people will use travel in 2022 to fully immerse themselves in new places and cultures.
Another online travel company, MakeMyTrip identified in their trend in 2022 that couples, friends and families will prefer homestays or alternative accommodations that offer the comfort of their houses at a home-away-from-home. In 2021, there has been a 70% increase in bookings for homestays in Goa, Manali, Udaipur, Ooty, Lonavala, Srinagar, Darjeeling and other popular tourist hotspots. As per advance searches on the platform, there will be more takers for homestays located in these destinations in 2022. Offbeat destinations will also be a favourite.
Karjat, Mashobra, Pahalgam, Shimoga and Mukteshwar have already made their way through to the travel bucket list of Indian travellers who seek solemn serenity. Searches and bookings for homestays in offbeat destinations, including Bir, Varkala, Kasol, Hampi, Tirthan Valley, Araku Valley and Panchgani are also expected to go up in the coming months. In the post-pandemic world, travellers have grown conscious about insurance, safety and hygiene. MakeMyTrip trends reveal travel solutions that offer flexibility, comfort and assurance will be actively searched and opted for in 2022. Be it airfare lock option that allows travellers to lock fares for up to seven days, to Covid-19 insurance that provides a coverage of Rs 2 lakh (per customer), to zero cancellation policy among others – travellers will continue to opt for flexible booking and payment options in the future.