Putting together the top travel trends for the year for you to watch for is one of my favourite things to do! The team and I spend a considerable amount of time looking at what happened in 2021 and predict what is coming up in the next 12 months. We had about 50 different things for you to look out for, but we selected the top 10 which we think will impact you the most.
Watch the video for more details or just read below.
Local travel will remain strong until at least 2023
We saw a huge surge in local demand in 2020 and 2021. This year will be no different as the guests will want to avoid risk or international travel (think cancellations, close contacts or at worst getting sick abroad). And regardless of risk, even if Covid dissipates, it will take airlines at least 12-18 months to get back to capacity it was operating at pre-2020 levels.
- More money in the system
Money Money Money – there is a fear that guests have less money, it is actually the reverse. There is more money in the system now than there ever was due to local, state and federal governments giving money away to stimulate the economy. Home owners are on average 45 months ahead on their mortgage repayments (this is up from 32 months pre-Covid).
People have not had the opportunity to spend their money over the pandemic, they are cashed up so make sure you take advantage of this in the services you offer and prices you charge.
Inflation is one of the key factors that you cannot ignore in 2022. Inflation went up by 7% in the USA in 2021, which is unprecedented, and hasn’t been this high since 1982. It happens when demand outstrips supply, which then raises prices. You need to make sure you are reviewing your pricing on a monthly, if not weekly basis!
- Unique experiences
We are in the 3rd year of uncertain travel, travellers are now used to the idea of not being able to do trips like they used to abroad. A lot of travellers missed out on important events such and birthdays and anniversaries.
Therefore, as it was in 2021, in 2022 guests will be willing to pay a premium for unique and curated experiences. So think about what you can offer to make their stay unique and you will get far more bookings.
2021 was the year of upsells and cross-sells. Hosts have started adding more options to their checkout and it is paying off. People are looking for something special, think pamper package add-ons, think extra firewood, think of throwing in a jet-ski experience. 2022 will have huge opportunities for you to make the experience extra special.
Social media & video behaviour will evolve.
Last year, the major platforms gave less prominence to text posts and picture posts realising that consumer behaviour was changing. We also learnt that negative posts do far far better then positively geared posts. Cutting through and standing out on socials, even if you are a smaller property will be increasingly important.
Additionally, pay attention to VIDEO. Reels and TikTok dominated 2021. Facebook and Instagram are scrambling to catch up. In 2021, TikTok overtook YouTube in terms of viewer hours! So make sure you have a video strategy for 2022.
More last-minute bookings
Last-minute bookings were a big thing in 2021 due to uncertainty around travel plans. In 2022 this trend will continue!
Eco eco eco
As the demographic of the traveller moves, more money will be coming from a younger generation. This generation is more health-conscious but also more environmentally conscious. If you can get it right, you have a great opportunity to stand out from your competitors. Get ready for EV cars – maybe not in 2022 but 2023 will create many opportunities to provide car charging services for cashed up travellers.
- QR Codes
It is just the beginning. QR codes create an easy, convenient way to share information. Think out of the box with this one. You can embed Wifi passwords into QR codes. You can attach .pdf guides. You can put QR codes on the fridge that links up to the local beer store to order beer. You can embed instructional videos that show people how to use the kettle, air conditioning or what to do upon checkout.
- Labour Shortages
Keeping and retaining good staff will be increasingly difficult. 1. There has been an exodus of students and cheap(er) labour. A lot of skilled workers have left the industry due to uncertainty, being made redundant or just not being able to cope with the stress of the work. This will continue well into 2023 so make sure that you are ready with training guides and material to cross-train your staff when in desperate need, but also to rapidly train new staff if you need to.