Travel Predictions For 2022 – What The Experts SayTom Gouldeon January 13, 2022 at 11:28 TechRound

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Travel was one of the hardest hit industries during the global pandemic but 2022 will see the rise again of international travel and tourism say TechRound’s panel of experts.
An increase in sustainable travel was also a popular prediction from those who know the industry inside and out.
TechRound has collected industry expert predictions, including from Heliox’s Michael Colijn and Currensea’s James Lynn on the travel trends expected to shape 2022.

Travel was difficult once again in 2021 but it seems as if the world is finally beginning to open up to international travel again. This means that 2022 should be an exciting year in the travel industry, with lots of new innovation to attract people to travel again.

With hopefully less lockdowns and more opening up on the horizon, TechRound has spoken to a panel of travel industry experts on what they think the future of travel looks like in the coming year and their predictions for the future.

Our Panel of Experts:

Debbie Carling – CEO at Corporate Travel Management Europe
James Ravenhall – Creative Director at NewTerritory
Jonny Culkin – Transport Designer at Seymourpowell
Mark Nicholson – CEO and Co-Founder at Vivacity Labs
James Lynn – Co-Founder at Currensea
Joe Miller – General Manager at Pocketalk
Michael Colijn – CEO of Heliox
Henry Popiolek – Co-Founder & COO at Staze
Giacomo Piva – Co-Founder of Radical Storage
Jeremy Clubb – Founder at Rainforest Cruises
Steve Jarvis – Co-Founder at Independent Cottages
Harvey Downard – Head of Cycling at Cycling for Softies
Richard Valtr – Founder at Mews
Steve Witt – Co-Founder at Not Just Travel

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

 

Debbie Carling – CEO at Corporate Travel Management Europe

 

 

 

It’s no secret that travel is probably the hardest hit of all industries by the pandemic, so the biggest change we’ll see across the sector this year is a welcome increase in the volume of people travelling for business and leisure.

At CTM, we help companies to manage their business travel and we’re expecting to see three big trends really gaining momentum across this area of travel in 2022. All three are industry-wide changes that began before the pandemic, have accelerated in the last two years and will truly come in to their own over the next 12 months and beyond.

The first is sustainability. I fully expect this to overtake cost and convenience as the leading factor in in deciding how to travel on business. We’re developing more granular CO2  data to help inform our business travellers better at the point of sale. We’re also the first travel management company to launch individual, department and company-level carbon budgets in our booking platform, Lightning.

Another big trend is the evolution of traveller risk management from something that was critical for certain organisations like oil and gas and those moving high net worth individuals to something that businesses now use technology to monitor in real-time as standard.

A third change is the way business travel is viewed by as part of the company’s business development strategy rather than a simple cost centre so proving ROI will become even more important. Because of this, we expect to see smarter analytics bridge the gap between travel and expense and business growth and profitability as travel programmes start from zero or a lean version of what they were in 2019.

 

James Ravenhall – Creative Director at NewTerritory

 

 

A ‘people first’ travel experience is likely to kick in this year facilitated by a greater use of technology in helping automate the more transactional elements of the passenger experience.

What we’re seeing is airports responding to passengers’ current frustrations caused by the many obstacles in their airport journey. Investigations into facial recognition technologies are well underway to enable passportless possibilities. One example of an emerging technology being explored by some airports is Parallel Reality, a screen-based tech that provides mass personalised information such as gate info, wayfinding, and destination tips to each individual passenger.

Airports, like other hospitality spaces, are embracing digitisation empathetically. After all, technology is an enabler, as it’s a means to collect important data and insight on customer behaviour, needs and preferences before, during and after departure. Tech can act as a way to both add value to the experience itself and empower humans to connect with customers more effectively.

This removal of friction will change the emphasis on airline ground staff. Historic touch points, such as administrative passport checks, can be replaced by an enhanced service culture. This in turn frees up time for staff to take up deeper hospitality roles that go beyond reassurance and safety – though that will remain critical – to the creation of defining moments that emotionally connect customers.

Jonny Culkin – Transport Designer at Seymourpowell

 

 

At Seymourpowell, we’re excited to imagine what new travel behaviours may arise, not only in a post-pandemic landscape, but also in a world where people are increasingly conscious of their carbon footprint relating to travel.

Rather than focussing solely on trying to reinvigorate the aviation-dominated travel industry, as it was pre 2020, there is a significant opportunity for alternative modes of travel and domestic destinations to grab a larger portion of tourist’s attention and spending.

Perhaps these more conscious travel decisions hold more experiences of discovery?

It’s something we’re already seeing with the upcoming rebirth of the Orient Express, the popularity of The Caledonian Express Sleeper Train, or even the surge in popularity of VanLifer’s and people undertaking ‘bike-packing’ tours. Linking all of these experiences is the fact that they are deliberately slower; the journey is the destination, and they are predominantly self-directed, but certainly not unsupported.

There’s so much opportunity in this movement; services, destinations and businesses can (and are) being built on top of supporting it. It’ll be very interesting to see how those established travel providers – hoteliers, carriers and service providers – react to this movement and create experiences that appeal to this generation of tourists.

Mark Nicholson – CEO and Co-Founder at Vivacity Labs

 

 

In 2022, policy will need to create change by reimagining existing infrastructure for better sustainability. 

We’ll see the continued introduction of schemes such as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Low Emission Zones and School Streets. But for these schemes to succeed, we need better data.

To achieve this, adopting AI-powered technology such as smart traffic sensors and signal control, which can manage multi-modal traffic flow in real-time, reduce congestion and lower emissions, will become more integral to sustainable policy.

In its latest campaign, Uber announced it was expecting its billionth UK trip to be taken. There’s a continuing rise in connected vehicle data, and this is very useful for large-scale inputs to macrosimulations and similar models and projections.

Having this broader macroscale data, also showcased through apps like Strava, complements the much more detailed data available on the roads from AI sensors, which provide high-fidelity, hyper-local insight with greater sample rates.

Combined, these macro and micro datasets can provide a holistic and detailed overview of travel trends to guide urban planning on both a local and city-wide scale.

In 2022, AI will become a prevailing force in transport networks as it is in other industries.

Think back to the battle of supermarkets 25 years ago – Tesco became the leader due to the innovations of Tesco Clubcard, providing access to incredible data and allowing AI to explode across the retail landscape.

It is time for transport to make the same transition. With accurate, detailed, real-time, 24/7 data in hand, transport authorities can make data-driven decisions about infrastructure – and then feed these same datasets into AI to plan everything from traffic signals to air quality.

The increasing availability of data will allow new players into the field, ushering in GovTech startups who will leverage the latest in technology to do things we can’t yet imagine.

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

 

James Lynn – Co-Founder at Currensea

 

 

At last, travel seems to be opening back up with the easing of restrictions and end of mandatory PCR testing for those returning to the UK. Not only does this make it easier to travel it’s also removed a large cost which has prevented many from getting a much-needed break abroad after an extraordinarily tough couple of years.

For many, money has been tight as a result of the pandemic so they’ve had to become more financially-savvy to be able to make ends meet. We anticipate we’ll see travellers applying the money saving skills they’ve learnt to their travels this year.

This doesn’t mean budget breaks – it means travellers will be searching for ways to maximise their savings to enjoy the best holiday experience – whether that’s searching for more cost-effective travel insurance or finally stepping away from the extortionate foreign exchange fees levied when using bank cards overseas. Often people don’t realise but when using contactless payments, travellers can be hit by fees of up to 5% to access their own money. It’s even worse when it comes to withdrawing cash at ATMs overseas, travellers can face fees of up to 10%!

There are alternatives, for example, Currensea leverages open banking to make it seamless for people to unlock the lowest FX fees on the market, with our card used in the same way as a debit card, allowing travellers to spend directly from their current account. This means travellers can enjoy lower fees and increased flexibility when spending around.

With 2022 likely to bring more travellers searching for alternative ways to reduce the cost of their holidays I anticipate we’ll see more fintechs entering the travel space and stepping up with innovative solutions

Joe Miller – General Manager at Pocketalk

 

 

The past two years have seen us witness how what happens thousands of miles away can have a big impact around the globe. Never has the world been so connected both financially and biologically – and this fact is set to stay. 2022 will see us need to work even more closely with other countries as we continue to navigate the challenges from the pandemic.  

The UK has a record 1.3 million job vacancies and many businesses are struggling to recruit talent. However, the pandemic has accelerated flexible working and opened a huge pool of talent internationally. We can expect to see more companies open to recruiting from other countries, creating diverse, multicultural workplaces that will bring a new set of challenges. 

Many of us have experienced Zoom fatigue at some point since the pandemic started, however, video conferencing has brought multiple benefits and is set to stay as many people continue to work from home full-time or part-time. Yet, it does bring challenges. It can be difficult to communicate with tech issues and language barriers. We expect to see more innovation in this space as companies require better solutions to make video conferencing more effective such as the Subtitles feature we just launched which makes it possible to communicate in real time across languages. 

This year we expect to see huge demand for face to face interactions to take place.  Some teams operating internationally haven’t seen each other in person for two years and there is a real appetite to have in person meetings. Additionally, we will see trade shows, exhibitions and conferences start to return to pre pandemic levels. 

We anticipate travel will start to return to more normal levels in 2022. With so many people unable to go abroad there will be a huge demand. We also think many people will become keen to avoid crowded spots and go more off the beaten path.

Michael Colijn – CEO of Heliox

 

 

As demand for EVs surges across most markets – the UK and pan-EU – we can expect to see 2022 as the year of greater investment into the charging infrastructure.

2021 was a record breaking year for green transport, especially across the EV industry. A fully electric commute, from car, to bus, to train, may not be as distant a future as you think.

Adoption in the personal vehicle sector has been meteoric, but we are yet to see this same level of engagement in the public transport sector, despite usage being maintained throughout the pandemic. With the UK committed to achieving net-zero by 2050, we can expect to see major EV adoption in the public transport sector throughout 2022 and beyond.

Charging infrastructure is one of the greatest barriers to mainstream EV adoption. Buses need to be able to transport their passengers as normal, without fear of running out of battery, or travelling too far to reach a charging point. Rapid charging technology therefore will be a key focus in ensuring quick and easy charging options to all, by allowing both buses and e-cars alike full charges in approximately 1 hour.

Amendments to the charging infrastructure system will also allow for greater adoption with more efficient transport schedules and convenient charging locations. Developments to on-the-move charging options, as well as to larger depots for fleet vehicles, can both be expected. Depots in cities of varying sizes globally have proven to be huge successes: from Knoxville in the US to the German town of Jena, to the third-phase of expansion at Schipol airport. In time for Cop26, Glasgow showed that this can, and will, also become a reality in the UK.

This will be the year to jump start our public transport systems into the future, make positive influences on our cities, and actualise our sustainable futures.

Henry PopiolekCo-Founder & COO at Staze

 

 

2022 will be the year of sustainable travel.

Rather than go back to the gas-guzzling habits of pre-pandemic travel, this year offers a chance to reflect on and reset how we travel.

One way that we’ll see this happen is increased attention on the things hotels are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.

It’s no longer enough to be ‘eco-certified’ and drown consumers in information about all the things you’re doing to be more sustainable.

Instead consumers will demand actual data on carbon footprints so they can make more informed booking decisions.

Right now this is beginning to take place in the most obvious parts of your trip, such as flights, but expect to see it extend to all areas of your trip from the hotels you stay in to the meals you eat.

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

 

Giacomo Piva – Co-Founder of Radical Storage

 

 

Here are five key predictions for the future of travel in 2022:

There will be a push to make up for lost time, complete more ‘bucket list’ items, and rebook any cancelled holidays.

It’s believed that international travel will soar from pre-pandemic rates. This could see 88% more international passengers take to the skies. Many may be first-timers, keen to explore the world after feeling ‘isolated’ during their country’s lockdowns.

New terms are being created to express people’s travel intentions. Get used to hearing ‘conspicuous hedonism’, ‘urban rebirth’, and ‘social travel’.

You’ll probably need to arrive at the airports much earlier than before 2020. This will allow sufficient time for your baggage to be checked-in, as well as your Covid-19 test data and ‘vaccine passports’ assessed. Also, with many more people expected to book a flight, travellers will arrive early to avoid the queues.

Crowds of tourists will descend on popular beaches and cities at peak times, so it’s likely that people will seek out ‘undiscovered’ destinations and change the time they ‘jet off’.

Jeremy Clubb – Founder at Rainforest Cruises

 

 

A trend that we have seen for 2022 is the rise in multi-destination trips. Prior to the pandemic, we’d see bookings for a trip to Machu Picchu and the Amazon only. Now we’re seeing more and more requests for multi-country itineraries – where people will book an Inca Trail and Rainforest trip but also add Rio de Janeiro and Iguazu Falls to the same trip! Combining multiple trips is a great way of maximising your time on the road. A multi-country holiday offers the perfect opportunity to make up for a lack of adventure over the last 18 months and to tick a few places off your list in one go!

“We have also witnessed a huge increase in the average price spent on experiences, a 180% increase in fact. Is this due to people having more disposable income from not going on vacation during the last eighteen months, or are they just splashing out because they feel deserve it after a challenging period? Who can say? But people are certainly embracing bucket list travel experiences since the pandemic – something that we believe will be a key travel trend in 2022. One recent customer went on one of our 8-day Amazon cruises and then rang up the next day to book an 8-day trip around the Galápagos Islands!

“In 2022, we also predict that people will want to visit remote locations where fewer people visit after rekindling their love for the great outdoors and nature as a result of being cooped up for so long over the last 18 months. We expect people to seek more adventurous holidays than ever before and predict adventure tourism destinations such as the Amazon, the Galapagos and Indonesia to be popular choices this year

Steve Jarvis – Co-Founder at Independent Cottages

 

 

For 2022, I am pretty confident that we’re going to see another staycation boom. We saw a huge demand for domestic UK holidays during summer 2021, with demand often far exceeding supply, and I believe that 2022 will be another busy year. In fact, during the last few days alone, we have seen a marked increase in interest for UK holidays. Twice as many holidaymakers are searching our website compared to this time last year, a 100% increase in fact-  and we thought January 2021 was a busy month!

 

At present, January 2022 is actually more looking popular with bookings than July this year, with around 40% of our most recent booking enquiries are for late winter or early spring getaways. However, we are also seeing a strong interest in summer breaks too, with 30% of all booking enquiries being for the summer months and, with 100% more holidaymakers looking for UK holidays, I expect summer availability to be scarce in the coming weeks and months.

 

Another change that we are seeing in the travel industry – and one that I think will continue – is people booking accommodation well in advance. Prior to the pandemic, UK holiday bookings became more and more ‘last minute’ as there was always availability, but booking patterns have changed and demand has increased, a lot. In fact, out of the bookings we have had over the last week or so, Christmas 2022 has been one of the most popular periods. People are now getting ahead of the game!

 

Another big prediction that I expect to see in 2022 is the take up of holiday cancellation insurance for domestic travel. Coronavirus is still a significant rise for 2022 travel but it is something that can now be insured. More recently I’ve seen family travel policies with Coronavirus cover for as little as around £10 per person. So, if the pandemic once again alters your holiday plans, no one need be out-of-pocket!

Harvey Downard – Head of Cycling at Cycling for Softies

 

 

Active travel is something that I believe will become more and more popular as many people spent the pandemic in the great outdoors and getting out amongst in nature. One sport that has boomed during the last 18 months is cycling, which saw levels in the UK actually soar by as much as 200% over lockdown! Therefore, I expect that cyclists, and those with other new-found hobbies, will be itching to take their new pastime to different places and, with the return of normality to travel, blend their passion with their holidays.

 

Another trend that I predict we will see this year is a focus on sustainable and slow travel. Nowadays, people are thinking more and more about the way in which they travel and the impact that this has on the environment and local communities, and I expect this is something that will only increase over the next year and beyond.

 

At Cycling for Softies, responsible travel has always been a core value for us and I believe it’s becoming a core travel value for more and more people. At its heart, cycling is an incredibly eco-friendly activity as you travel on your own steam and have the opportunity to experience what is around you more than most other methods of travel. And whether people are fast-paced cyclists or just enjoy a bimble, I think that we are going to see a big increase in active travel in the future.

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

 

Richard Valtr – Founder at Mews

 

 

Staycations played an integral role in boosting Britain’s tourism sector during the pandemic. If there is one positive that we can draw from the pandemic, it is people’s re-appreciation of what’s on offer closer to home – even as restrictions lift.

“The pandemic has completely rejuvenated the way that travellers perceive their holidays and there is a real opportunity for hotels to adapt and transform the services they offer. This might mean re-imagining the space you currently have – for example, by changing the hotel lobby into a co-working space.

“The resilience of the travel industry is really something to admire and the success stories from the pandemic are those hotels that are listening to their customers, adapting to the trends and communicating their changes.

Steve Witt – Co-Founder at Not Just Travel

 

 

As a result of airlines and accommodation providers contracting their services during covid, those consumers who don’t book early, are going to see less choice and steep price rises next year.

Normally, the industry would use scarcity as a sales tactic to persuade customers to book now but unfortunately in 2022, it’s reality.

Scarcity in the industry is the result of both reduced capacity in the sector, rolled over holidays, as well as consumer behaviour having changed since Covid hit.

Reduced capacity

Firstly, it will probably take another year for the industry to get back to normal capacity. Airlines can’t simply put mothballed planes back on the runways – it takes time to organise slots and recruit staff.

One example is the USA, which only opened up entry for UK travellers last month. A total of 3,688 flights were scheduled to operate between the UK and US in November, according to travel data company Cirium. That is 49% down compared to pre-pandemic November 2019.

Rolled over bookings

A lot of holiday bookings from previous years have also rolled over, so some availability is already slim. For example, Lapland, a firm family favourite, has two years’ worth of customers wanting to experience the magic of Santa in a very short window.” Steve says that Lapland 2022 is nearly sold out already.

The Angler Fish effect – booking far earlier

Thirdly, consumers are now booking holidays far more into the future than ever before. I call it the “Angler Fish effect,” where people need the shining light of a holiday to look forward to in order to get through the dark days. In summer 2021 over a quarter of all our bookings were for the following two years and beyond.

That means that people need to be ahead of the curve and super-organised if they have a specific hotel or destination they want to travel to and not pay premium prices.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to think about booking your 2022 holiday, as spaces are filling up fast and prices will certainly rise.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

 

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