2022 Predicted As Busiest Travel Season Ever

Travel in 2022 is predicted to be busier than before the pandemic and very accessible for those who are fully vaccinated. With ultra-lavish vacation plans and sparing no expense, travelers are serious about getting away ASAP.  This has excitement in the air! Travelers are wanting to make up for lost travel time. In fact, a recent McKinsey survey revealed that traveling is the second most desired activity among Americans this year.

Prior to the pandemic, the global tourism sector had seen uninterrupted growth for decades.  Today, the UNWTO predicts that the tourism sector won’t recover until 2024 or later.  Yet, the pent-up demand is expected to make the 2022 spring/summer seasons the busiest travel period in history, globally.

Professionals and experts in the tourism space report that travel planning/bookings for the spring and summer seasons continue to boom. American travelers’ intention on taking a vacation remains high despite the current ongoing events taking place in the world,  Any noise over another possible variant, or the high current costs of airfare or hotel rates is falling on deaf ears. Over the course of the past few weeks as Covid-19 mandates and restrictions continue to be amended or dropped altogether, all across the globe confidence in travel is restored. One step at a time. 

What would it take to restore travel completely?

According to professionals in the industry the U.S requirement of pre-departure testing. Should this be removed travel will come roaring back. ASTA, the American Society of Travelers has requested the Whitehouse to lift pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated inbound travelers citing “the single biggest barrier to the full recovery of our international travel system.” Tourism advocates are hopeful that the Biden Administration will lift these restrictions come now early spring.

A New Digital Age of Travel

With this boom will come a new digital age of travel. Yes, you read that right. The Covid-19 pandemic has not only devastated the travel industry it has simultaneously transformed many parts of it . It has accelerated the digitization of different travel processes. Which altogether is not a bad thing.  As more innovative technological solutions emerge improving the travel experience, it will make things easier for both the traveler and the tourism and hospitality sector suppliers. As travel becomes a more digitized process, it will make it easier for travelers to comply with entry requirements, book flights, hotels, and the like. Due to the experience had by consumers throughout the pandemic, today’s travelers expect a contactless tourism experience. That experience begins with online booking and extends throughout the travel experience, from digital check-ins to digital concierges. As more travelers quickly take to digital tools, contactless tourism will become an integral part of any tourism destination strategy. With this digitization will come about a plethora of data points that will be used by the industry and destinations to optimize and personalize in-destination services, manage destination experiences, and develop smart and long-term sustainable tourism practices.

Potential Challenges on the Horizon

With this speed to return to travel, it’s expected to come with challenges for all those within the tourism supply chain. The industry has yet to restore travel-related jobs which are harder to come back. The imminent spike in travel demand will strain the travel supply chain.  Airlines are working diligently to re-hire pilots and provide refresher programs and additional training. Car rentals, airports, restaurants, and as are others across the travel supply chain struggling to find qualified workers.  Across the hospitality sector, it’s harder to fill roles with workers who have already settled into other industries. Patience is to become a well-established practice by all. Good Luck to all with the boom!

Until next Time ~ Ayri

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