By Rebecca Jackson, Marketing Manager, Perfect Stays (www.perfectstays.co.uk)
Reconnect, relax and refresh. 2022 will be the year we rekindle our love for travel, indulge and immerse ourselves in the cultural bustle of the world again and bring our fantasies of relaxing on sandy white beaches to life.
As we dive eagerly into the new year, Perfect Stays has created the ultimate travel trend list to inspire your much-needed getaways in 2022.
Move over yoga, travel will become the selfcare trend for 2022.The wellness tourism market is predicted to reach a whopping $919bn, with well over a billion wellness trips to take place around the globe.
And while 2021 seems to have been the year of the ‘workcation’, it’s likely there’ll be a bit of pushback next year. People will want to escape work, set their out of office mode completely and go away for longer periods.
Our guests are booking longer holidays with 7-13 nights and 14-20 night stays our most popular durations for next year.
We will start to see people removing themselves from their stressful daily routines and getting out of their comfort zone, forcing them to fill their time with activities that they wouldn’t normally do in everyday life.
LOCAL COMMUNITIES WILL BE A PRIORITY
In 2022, we will see an increase in travellers contacting their holiday companies for local hints and tips.
Over half of consumers globally (53%) believe it is more important to shop with local businesses now than it was before the pandemic. As a result, we expect to see people throwing themselves into community immersion experiences, from volunteering to historical and cultural heritage tours.
This trend has already started to grow, as we’ve noticed a staggering 320% increase in website visits to our concierge page since the start of 2021. Indicating consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the local economy and want to connect and contribute in a way that is respectful, mutually enriching and sustainable.
Food will be one of the central motives for travel next year with holidaymakers looking to revel in local cooking classes, street food and discover food at its source, by visiting local vineyards or take part in fishing trips.
We’ve also noticed a significant increase in the number of people requesting private chefs during their stay, with some customers booking this experience over 12 months in advance.
Fiona Were from Chef Fiona NZ, who we work with closely through our concierge service, suggests this is due to the flexible and personalised nature of having a private chef:
“People realise that they can have a totally bespoke menu created and cooked just for them in the comfort of their holiday home, with timings to suit and ultimate flexibility with the offering. Guests can choose from non-restrictive menus and special diets are catered for without anyone feeling like they’re the odd one out.”
Fiona has also noticed she’s no longer receiving requests for a simple family dinner, instead guests are wanting to really indulge in 2022 and opt for more tasting and celebratory menus.
TECHNOLOGY REMAINS KEY IN ENHANCING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
Now more than ever, travelers will be relying on technology in 2022 to plan their next getaway.They’ll need to access their digital COVID passports, keep up-to-date on the safest cities and countries for travelling to, and opt for personalised booking experiences without face-to-face contact.
But it’s not just consumers embracing technology, holiday companies will be utilising it to ensure their guests’ stays remain smooth, with minimal disruption.
Improving the guest experience will be a priority and we will start to see more pandemic inspired features such as video call bookings, smart room-service ordering with just a touch of a button and virtual reality tours of attractions and hotels to help guests plan their trip before booking.This is particularly helpful if guests have accessibility concerns and want to decide if everything would work for them before committing.
With the hospitality industry changing quickly, companies will want to ensure all their recommendations are as up-to-date as possible. At Perfect Stays, we’ve rolled out interactive versions of our Local Area Guides alongside Guest Information Tablets in the properties to keep everyone up-to-date with any last-minute changes at a press of a button.
THE STAYCATION TREND CONTINUES
We’ve noticed a surge in property bookings for larger groups for next year, with clicks to our ‘large group stays’ being the most viewed ‘holiday type’ page on our website.
‘Minimoons’ will continue to be a strong trend as newlyweds book short but sweet romantic retreats, with clicks to our ‘honeymoons’ pages up 61%.
According to the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), a single passenger travelling on a domestic flight in Britain, for example, can lead to climate impacts equivalent to 254g of CO2 for every kilometre they travel. Opting for a staycation is one of the many ways we can reduce our carbon footprint, as discussed at the COP26 summit recently, with the government encouraging us Brits to continue holidaying at home.
The South-West was the leading staycation region in the UK this summer and bookings for next year are already filling fast.
From our experience, it’s very common to have next year’s school summer holiday weeks largely fully booked at this stage (which they are). However, this year we’re seeing high booking levels extend particularly into early school holiday weeks such as Easter. In fact, 75% of our available Easter weeks and 80% of our available June weeks have already booked.
These advance bookings are happening much earlier than normal and 2022 looks set to be a record year for booking ahead.