By Korinna Zekkou*
After much uncertainty about what 2021 tourism season would bring, in 2021 Greece did better than expected. According to the Greek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias, Greece’s efforts to remain a safe destination and open to all tourists, paid off with revenues expected to surpass 10 billion euros.
For 2022 season, and despite the pandemic, travel predictions suggest that travel will be even busier than pre-pandemic times. A new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council suggests that projections show “strong growth in international spending for 2022 and beyond… as more destinations ease restrictions and vaccination rates continue to rise”.
The report shows how COVID-19 has changed the way people travel and foretells that the younger travellers are the first to return to travel with increased demand for longer stays enabled by moderate to fee-free cancellations and high standards of health and safety checks.
HomeToGo, published its predictions for the top travel trends of 2022. According to its findings, the increase in vaccinations globally, the demand for tourism in 2022 remains optimistic. New insight reveal a notable increase in travel spend and length of stay compared to the before pandemic era. Based upon search demand and a global survey of 4,000 travelers, HomeToGo revealed the three types of trips that will dominate in the new year. In 2022, tourists are looking forward to:
- Relaxing on sun-kissed islands.
- Traveling safely to secluded regions.
- Discovering hidden gem destinations.
Main travel motivator behind the above demand is relaxation and mindfulness. It is more than obvious that the pandemic changed the reasons behind our need to travel. And these changes shape a new set of trends that will dominate the tourism industry in 2022.
“The journey as exciting as the destination“
In Booking.com recent survey in 2022 “the anticipation for the journey will be as exciting as the destination”. 75% of travelers surveyed pointed out that in 2022 the journey to a destination is more enjoyable when it feels like part of the trip itself. These travelers expressed that more than ever they are looking forward to a journey that will lead them to a destination where they enjoy learning new customs and cultures and at the same time simply enjoy the pleasure of feeling the sun on their skin!
A form of self-care
Another amazing finding is that travel will become an essential form of self-care. According to Booking.com, 79% of travelers surveyed “agree that travelling to a serene destination helps their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of self-care”.
Travel is set to become the self-care trend for 2022”, explains Booking.com, with people stating that more than ever they value the opportunity to switch off, using their vacations as an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in new places and cultures by spending time with friends and family, learning languages, or trying new foods.
60% of the people surveyed said they plan to use their next vacations to explore new cultures and enjoy new places and experiences. “Exploring sights you never thought you’d see and tasting new cuisines can form unforgettable experiences and help you appreciate life’s opportunities”.
40% of the people surveyed expressed their hope that their next holidays will allow them to spend time with friends and family or spend more time with their significant other.
Expedia 2022 Travel Trends Report, which was published recently, asked 12,000 global participants about what they’d like to do and how they’d like to travel during the next year.
The report found that two-thirds of the participants are planning on taking big trips in the next year, and have named it the “Greatest of All Trips” (GOAT) mindset.
The research found that 41% of the participants are most likely to seek out excitement and the feeling of making the most of their trips while vacationing.
Another large trend in the same report found was indulging on trips to really make the most out of their vacation experiences. With 40% of the participants declaring that they are more eager to spend more both in time and money in order to enjoy their vacations to the fullest. While about 15% said that will opt to take more luxurious experiences.
Almost a quarter of the travelers surveyed cited they are excited to visit lesser known destinations, with a 40% stating their need to try food they’ve never tasted before.
All the above trends created by the wishes expressed by how people dream of their next vacation point to Greece. A worldwide beloved destination where the sun always shines, the endless sandy beaches, the countless islands yet to be discovered, the diverse natural environment, the priceless heritage, the healthy cuisine which is yet to be discovered and the people who never seas to smile even at their lowest.
Travel is no longer just about ‘going somewhere.’ Coming out of such a long period of constraints and limitations, 2022 will be the year we collect truly meaningful experiences.
In 2022 our rich in heritage, sophisticated, discreet and almost shy of tourism island of Andros, awaits discovery by this new mindful traveller.
*Mrs. Korinna Zekkou is a Managing Director of Elxis SA at Heliades Villas.