Five tourism consumer trends for 2022
The corona pandemic has changed consumer behavior, accelerated existing trends, and created new routines and habits in everyday life. People long for tourism experiences and a sense of freedom, but they may not materialize in the traditional way in the near future.
The global economy is recovering thanks to advances in vaccination, deregulation and strong recovery. While the pandemic is not over and there is a lot of uncertainty on the horizon, it is a good time to look at trends in consumer behavior for the coming year.
1. The need for own space takes people to cottages, nature and driving
People are used to safety gaps and spaciousness in the premises. Consumers want to move privately, as evidenced by the increase in car sales. You can search for your own space in holiday homes for rent, in nature, and in a motorhome. Combining these on vacation is also becoming more common. In addition, the Van life -trend, traveling in a self-tuned motorhome, has become increasingly visible in Finland.
Trends related to own space can be expected to continue in 2022, as lifestyle changes have been perceived as meaningful and keeping distances has prevented other infectious diseases in addition to corona.
2. A more flexible lifestyle changes the rhythm of everyday life
Throughout the pandemic, surveys have indicated that employees and employers are largely satisfied with the increase in remote work. In the future, different hybrid models will become more common, combining working from home and the office. This affects how consumers ’daily lives are formed, where they want to live and what they expect and want from home features or leisure.
The roles of time, space, and location are diversifying: people do the same things as before, but more strongly according to their own schedules and preferences. This also means that work and leisure are mixed. More and more remote work is done, for example, from a leisure home.
3. Clear products and services for the travel company help navigate the jungle of well-being trends
The pandemic has forced us to look at our own health from new perspectives. Having face a completely new type of threat, health has become an increasingly visible and concrete topic. The market for various wellness products and services has continued to grow, offering everything from state-of-the-art self-measurement devices to ayahuasca retreats.
For the tourist, well-being is more important and is a strongly rising trend in the entire tourism industry. Tourism companies should now invest in products and provide tourists clear and easy-to-buy wellness ancillary services.
4. Clearer division of roles between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores
The pandemic has accelerated digitalisation in all aspects of life, the growth of online shopping being one of the most significant examples. At the global level, e-commerce is expected to grow from the current 19.5% of total retail sales to 21.8% by 2024 (Statista 2021).
This shows that the role of physical stores is still significant – but more and more investments in the shopping experience and its interactive aspect are expected, such as various in-store service concepts. According to a new study, consumers who appreciate a brand’s “cultural richness” prefer to visit brick-and-mortar stores rather than online ones.
Shopping and travel bookings made on the websites of companies operating in the tourism industry in general and globally, are becoming more common and will grow. Tourism companies should therefore invest more in their own websites, where the traveler can easily buy or make a reservation.
5. Travelers involved in saving the world
We are living in times of several parallel, complex and systemic crises. Alongside the pandemic, we are seeing more and more concrete impacts of climate change, species extinction and the depletion of natural resources. It is difficult to anticipate a Roaring Twenties after the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers’ hedonism is paralleled by a concern for the environment.
Companies in travel industry cannot wait on the sidelines to observe these megatrends; they have to take a stand, bring new solutions and adapt to new realities in business environments. Consumers value brands that work consistently and meaningfully for a better world. In uncertain times, consumers also appreciate the stability and friendliness of brands. In 2022, more and more travel companies will emphasise the themes of environmental and social responsibility throughout the value chain.
People constantly make different consumption decisions in their daily lives. Some of them are routine, while some are carefully considered and planned. Consumption of tourism will change in the future, but it also has many lasting features. By understanding trends in consumer behavior, companies providing services to travelers will ensure that their business will be relevant to customers in the future as well.
Sources: VTT, WGSN 2021, Euromonitor 2021, Jonathan J. Zhang – Colorado State University.