2022 Travel Industry Outlook
Since the beginning of the pandemic, one of the most impacted busines verticals has been the travel and tourism industry. With people worried about their safety, consumers have been hesitant to travel, but the industry is finally bouncing back. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by TripAdvisor 72% of consumers are excited and optimistic about future travel plans. And at &Barr we’ve seen first-hand record travel numbers well above 2019 pre-pandemic levels with our Florida’s Space Coast client.
Consumers are looking to get back out and explore, possibly even more than they were pre-pandemic. The second half of 2021 saw a huge uptick in vacation planning and travel with visitation numbers at destinations across the U.S. trending upward because of four core drivers:
Vaccinations: An increase in vaccinations across the country has consumers feeling confident to begin to travel safely again.
Lost Time: Consumers are also making up for lost time. Thousands of people had canceled travel plans in 2020 and a recent study completed by Expedia found 36% of Americans are planning to take regular vacations again in 2022.
Flexibility: 2021 also saw the birth of “flexcations”, with many people working remotely realized they could travel with their family and still be able to work. However, as more companies start to go back into the office in 2022 it’s likely that these consumers will be trying to squeeze in a few more working vacations before they return.
Back to Work: With many workers returning to the office the number of “flexcations” will surely decline, but having people back in the office will promote the return of business travel. In 2019 business travel accounted for 25% of all travel dollars spent in the U.S. but that number dropped to only 10% during 2020. Though it will be a slow transition back as companies figure out their protocols to keep employees safe, there has already been an upturn in business travel and the trend is something to keep an eye on for 2022.
With more and more people returning to some form of normalcy within travel, it’s important to recognize what these changes in consumer behavior mean for your company. &Barr has over 60 years of travel and tourism experience, and continues to be the agency of choice for dozens of high traffic travel/tourism destinations. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to hear more about the specific insights we can provide for your travel destination.
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