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Key industry takeaways from Booking.com’s 2022 travel predictions

Booking.com has delved into all aspects of the travel experience to reveal the needs and wants of tomorrow’s travellers

With the outlook on travel varying in each region, Booking.com has sought insights from a diverse audience mix to forecast where travel is headed in 2022. The predictions draw on research* among more than 24,000 travellers across 31 countries and territories, combined with in-house data and expertise, to reflect a truly global market. 

Delving into every detail of their travel experiences, the research explores everything from preferred travel companions and trip aspirations to technology preferences and practical considerations. Here, we share key traveller themes and priorities that surfaced and how your properties can leverage them in planning for the year ahead. 

Reigniting the travel spark

After being unable to travel for such a long period of time, travellers want to make up for lost vacations by saying ‘yes’ to the opportunities that come their way. Nearly three-quarters (72%) agree they will say yes to any vacation opportunity if budget allows. And for the 49% that have been saving by not taking any big vacations since the pandemic started, money is no object for the trips they will take in 2022. This is exciting news for partners, as we anticipate this sentiment will further stimulate travel demand. 

Your properties can capture this pent-up demand by optimising their availability via our Rates and Availability API

Emphasis on local experiences and connections

Next year, the desire to connect authentically with the local community will continue as travellers seek to be more mindful about every trip they take. Over half (58%) of people agree it’s important that their trip is beneficial to the local community at their destination. Additionally, 68% want the money they spend when travelling to go back to the local community, and 73% want to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture.

Your properties can tap into this demand by indicating the steps they’ve taken to positively impact their destination and community – from giving local artists a platform to display their talents and offering tours organised by local guides to providing guests with information regarding local ecosystems, heritage and culture. You can enable your properties to update their sustainability practices, and other facilities, by implementing the Content API

Flexibility will remain a top priority

The broader travel industry will continue to prioritise flexibility, as travellers rank the ability to cancel (33%) and the ability to reschedule free of charge (32%) as two of the most important priorities in 2022.

Given the uncertainty travellers continue to experience, it’s unsurprising that flexibility continues to be front of mind. Your properties can appeal to these travellers by offering flexible rates, which are available via our Rates and Availability API

Divide in remote work preferences

Our research shows two camps emerging when it comes to working remotely. No longer confined to five days a week in an office, some travellers are looking to extend their trips, with 69% agreeing that incorporating remote working before or after their vacation is a good way to extend their time in a destination. Your properties can attract these travellers by offering Long Stay Rates via the Room and Rate Plan Management API, and indicating that they offer work-friendly facilities and services via the Content API

On the other hand, the new year will also see a significant rise in travellers (73%) wanting to firmly re-establish vacation time as strictly work-free, and 59% would rather spend less time on vacation if it meant they could completely switch off – so striking a balance will be key. 

Wider adoption of predictive technology

From AI-powered instant translation services that make communicating with foreign guests easier, to machine learning models that automatically inform you about a late arrival –  technology will continue to smooth out the unforeseen bumps in the road with increasing finesse and proactivity. As a result, we expect to see even wider innovation of predictive technologies that can help travellers make more informed decisions, especially considering that two thirds (69%) would be interested in an innovative service that could predict which countries will be safe to travel to, even months in advance, or automatically suggest destinations that are easy to travel to now based on current COVID-19 requirements (67%). 

Greater focus on the traveller journey

After feeling ‘stuck’ for so long, rather than rushing through the journey, travellers will be relishing every moment. Three-quarters (75%) of people said travel is more enjoyable when the journey feels like part of the trip itself. Even the uncertainty of navigating foreign public transportation in a new city is something two-thirds (58%) said they enjoy. 

This makes our Connected Trip vision, which will enable travellers to book all the major elements of their trip on our platform, all the more important. To date, our flight product has launched in 27 countries, and we will continue to build on this early success in 2022. Coupled with our focus on providing seamless airport taxi, ride-hailing and public transport journeys, we’re committed to ensuring your properties’ guests arrive relaxed and ready to enjoy their hospitality. 

Prioritising wellness travel

After a year of travel restrictions, the important benefits that travel has on health and wellbeing are now being acknowledged. Nearly two thirds (62%) of global travellers said they didn’t realise how important travel was to their wellbeing until it was no longer an option.

With a further 79% of people affirming that travel helps their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of rest and relaxation, property owners and managers can expect a heightened desire for guest facilities and amenities that cater to self care. Your properties can highlight that they offer such services on their property page via the Content API.  

*Travel Predictions 2022 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Singapore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.

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Takeaway
  • Booking.com’s 2022 Travel Predictions point towards the themes that will matter most to travellers in 2022

  • The research was commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total, 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled 

  • To help your properties make the most of these predictions, we've shared actionable advice, providing both insights and tools they can leverage in planning for the year ahead

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