By: Ashlee Akers
It’s almost 2022, which means people are starting to think about New Year’s resolutions and planning trips! For tourism destinations, it’s time to reassess how best to position your brand and entice people to visit. Here are some important stats and trends to keep in mind while continuing to recover and rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic:
By the Numbers: Tourism in 2021
- Travelers are ready to get out and explore, with 2022 shaping up to be more popular for trips than before the pandemic, according to a report from the World Travel & Tourism Council.
- The report says domestic travel in the United States is expected to grow by another 28.4%, and international spending in the U.S. is expected to jump a whopping 228% compared to this year.
- Overall, travel is anticipated to generate nearly $2 trillion of the U.S. economy in 2022 and support an increase of about 2.9 million jobs.
Those are some incredibly welcome numbers for everyone in hospitality after one of the most difficult times in industry history. But, as we all know, a lot has changed in the last two years, including people’s expectations for travel.
New Travel Trends
After being cooped up at home for so long, people of all ages and backgrounds are looking for more experiential and meaningful travel. They’ve also had a lot of time to research trip ideas online, so they know where they want to go and what they want to do. Industry research shows these are some of the big draws:
- Eco-travel is for everyone: Sustainability continues to be a sticking point for travelers of all ages. This, of course, includes more green accommodations but perhaps a more surprising trend is an uptick in traveling by train. A survey by Audley recently found that 81% of people are likely to consider rail travel for their next trip. If your destination isn’t super walkable, make sure there are alternative forms of transportation, such as a free to low-cost trolley or bicycles available for rent at local hotels.
- Comfort is key: If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people want to feel comfortable and safe. Safety and sanitation guidelines are the first step, but another step is having a familiar piece of home with you when you travel: your pet. These days most hotels, airlines, and even airports have pet-friendly perks, which they’re highlighting in major campaigns like this playful video from JetBlue.
- No to status quo: After an unprecedented couple of years, travelers are thirsty for their greatest of all trips (GOAT mindset). With both domestic and international travel, people will be focusing on making up for lost time and maximizing their experiences.
If you are a destination marketing organization, don’t forget to register for Outlook Forum 2022 happening in February at Hilton San Francisco Union Square. Experts from every sector of the industry gather to share their insights and experiences about the latest trends, marketing tactics and research.
Need help navigating these trends and channeling them into a solid marketing strategy? Reach out to us at www.verdinmarketing.com/contact/.