Pent-up demand for international travel looks unstoppable as tourists refuse to slow down, despite the travel industry’s continued concern over rising prices.
Mary Ann Ha
Amid ongoing forecasts for intense inflation this summer, travelers still expect to spend more on travel this year than they did in the pre-pandemic era, according to a new Skyscanner report. The trends report released on Tuesday reveals shifts in booking demand and global traveler behavior that could help international travel and aviation recover in 2022.
“Despite challenging headwinds, the aviation industry continues to prove its resilience, driven by tremendous traveler demand across all regions.” Hugh Aitken, vice president of flights at Skyscanner, said in the report. “In the immediate term, there is a clear demand for domestic and short-haul travel, with a recovery of long-haul on the horizon. We are seeing positive signals that seasonality is returning to both booking horizons and travel durations, which provides some degree of certainty going forward. »
The report says that even “faced with the rising cost of living, travelers plan to spend more this year; their budgets are higher, they book longer trips and spend more on accommodation”.
86% of survey respondents said they plan to spend at least as much or more on international travel than they did in 2019, with half planning to spend more. The United States alone echoes this ratio – 76% of travelers said they plan to spend the same or more on international travel than three years ago, and 43% said they plan to spend more.
Not only are travelers looking to spend more on travel overall, they are also making adjustments to the way they travel. Among respondents who said they would spend more in 2022, 48% are directing their increased spending to longer trips. For some, changing travel behavior depends on where travelers choose to travel – for Australians, many holiday destinations tend to be further afield, hence the popularity of longer trips.
In 2019, 35% of travelers planned and booked trips at least 90 days or more before departure. While the number of these trips has decreased in volume, the 30-59 day and 60-89 day segments for booking horizons have increased significantly, with an increase of 24% and 38%.
Among all respondents, Asia-Pacific travelers showed the highest level of enthusiasm for booking travel in advance. As tourism markets in Australia, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia reopen, all segments of longer booking horizons have seen a sudden surge in demand: the 90-day or longer segment has increased 55%, that of 60 to 89 days increased by 80% and that of 30 days. -59 days increased by 43% over the specified period. This is a surprising comparison to the overall average booking horizons of 60-89 days and 90+ days, both of which remain below pre-pandemic levels. People are clearly excited to be able to travel again and are jumping at the chance whenever they can.
Additionally, the relaxation of travel regulations in 2022 means that seasonality is starting to play a big role in travel decision-making, with growing demand for longer vacations during key summer and summer periods. ‘winter. Naturally, longer durations tend to peak in July and December, especially trips that range from two weeks to a month and over a month.
In addition to extended travel, 43% of respondents who said they would spend more on travel this year said the money would go to improving accommodations. For many travelers, the answer to this question depends on the country of origin. Brits and Germans want to focus on higher priced accommodations and destinations, while American travelers are ready to settle down with cabin class and rooms. US travelers are instead much more likely to spend on sustainable alternatives, such as carbon offsetting – more than half of US respondents said they want to spend more on sustainable improvements.
Although this is a significant jump from the average of 28% of all respondents, this concern for greener travel is not far from what the travel industry hopes to change in future travel behaviors.
“The focus on more sustainable aircraft, new route options and safety will ensure continued growth and the recovery of a strong travel industry,” said Marco Navarria, Global Marketing Director for CAPA-Center for Aviation, in the report.
According to the report, travelers from the United States showed the highest level of commitment to sustainable travel than any other country, with 25% planning to take an eco-friendly trip in 2022. Respondents Australians, Germans and Brits mentioned relaxation and the bucket list experiences as what they most look forward to. Americans, meanwhile, expressed interest in a greater variety of travel – remote adventures, eco-friendly travel and adrenaline were particularly popular responses.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported length of stay statistics and has been revised to reference booking horizons.