6 Post-Pandemic Travel Statistics from 2022 That Might Surprise You

It’s no secret that the travel and tourism industry has changed quite a bit since the COVID-19 pandemic turned it upside down in early 2020. 

As everyone begins to adjust to the new norms and safety restrictions imposed on travelers, the tourism industry has certainly bounced back, but it can still be tricky to develop and execute a marketing strategy after the industry has shouldered so many unique changes. 

In some ways, travel has changed forever, and we have the numbers to reflect exactly how. We’ve compiled a list of 6 surprising post-pandemic travel statistics that may leave you rethinking your marketing strategy. 

1. Consumers Want To Travel More Sustainably 

When travel took a back seat during the pandemic, it left consumers with a lot of time to think and evaluate their priorities. During this time, there was an ideological shift leading to a rise in more ethical and sustainable travel options. In a survey compiled by IHG Hotels & Resorts, they found that 38% of respondents will be more mindful of their travel choices post-pandemic. 

The majority of respondents (42%) stated that their top consideration when traveling would be choosing a hotel that is ethical, socially responsible and offers a supportive work environment. Additionally, 38% of respondents stated that they would actively avoid activities that would pose a negative impact on the local communities and environment. With this ideological shift from consumers, travel and tourism companies need to focus on their overall ethical and environmental impact. 

2. Business Travel Is Not Bouncing Back As Fast As Leisure 

Throughout the pandemic, work from home culture really took off. Businesses were operating almost entirely online. Because of this, there were virtually no people traveling for business trips, conferences or other engagements. Many hotels that were driven by business oriented travelers took a huge hit. 

According to a survey conducted by MorningConsult, 42% of adults in the United States that traveled for business at least 3 times a year pre-pandemic expect to never travel for business again. Instead of taking trips exclusively for business, many travelers are taking “blended” trips instead. Mixing their business travel with leisure ultimately allows for more freedom and flexibility. 

3. Leisure Travel Is Leading The Travel Industry Recovery

As the travel and tourism industry recovers from the pandemic, leisure travel is leading the way. Many people are prioritizing leisure travel over other expenses. While overall travel spending is still down by 11% compared to January 2019 (US Travel), consumers are looking toward leisure travel for the future. 

In this survey by MorningConsult, it is cited that 68% of respondents in the United States plan on taking a trip for leisure within the next 12 months. Additionally, the leisure travel industry is expected to make a full recovery by the end of 2022. 

4. Airbnb Is Increasing The Need For “Bleisure” Travel

“Bleisure” is a huge buzzword within the travel industry right now as a reference to blended business and leisure trips. With the rising popularity of work from home positions, consumers are taking the opportunity to blend a vacation with both work and fun. Instead of taking a long weekend away, consumers are opting for longer stays on Airbnb. 

According to recent data from Airbnb, the need for long-term stays in non-urban areas has nearly doubled. Additionally, their average trip length has increased by 15% over the past two years. Clearly, consumers are focused more on accommodations that offer quality amenities and allow them to blend their travel plans.  

Read More: How Hotels & Resorts Can Compete with Airbnb

5. Baby Boomers Are Expected To Spend More On Travel in 2023 Than Any Other Generation

While many may assume that millennials and gen-z will be spending the most on travel within the coming years, it is in fact the opposite. While those demographics are leading the forefront with the amount of travel they are planning to do, baby boomers are expected to spend the most. 

According to a recent survey from MMGY, baby boomers are expected to spend upwards of $4,000 on travel within the next 12 months. This shift in spending is due to the need for luxury accommodations. Baby boomers are more likely to book a more expensive hotel room, airline flights and other accommodations opposed to younger generations. 

6. 40% of Travelers Are More Willing To Splurge on Luxury Expenses

The way consumers are spending their money on travel has also begun to evolve. Because people were cooped up in their homes for so long throughout the pandemic, the desire for luxury accommodations has continued to grow. People are looking for the ultimate level of relaxation during their time away from home. 

Noted in a survey conducted by Expedia, 40% of travelers from the United States are more likely to splurge on their future travel. The travel and tourism industry will need to keep up with the demand for luxury offerings in order to stay relevant and compete with other destinations.  

When Is The Travel Industry Expected To Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels? 

Though the travel industry has begun to recover from the pandemic, there is still a long way to go before things return to normal. The years 2020 and 2021 were among the lowest grossing years on record for the tourism industry. Additionally, international travel took a huge hit. However, the travel industry is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels sooner than expected.

A majority of experts (64%) at The World Tourism Organization expect the travel industry to make a full recovery by 2024. This includes leisure, business, and international travel. Domestic travel in the United States is already on the rise, grossing over $1.1 trillion dollars in 2021 (WTTC). 

Refresh Your Travel Marketing Strategy

With the travel and tourism industry on its way to recovery, it is more important than ever for companies to stay up to date with the most recent insights and trends. As consumers are changing the way they travel, hotels, resorts and travel destinations need to adjust their marketing strategy to match.  

From the Future is a full-service digital marketing agency with deep experience in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. After seeing some of the world’s biggest travel brands throughout their transition post-pandemic, we have the power to provide informed recommendations to refresh your strategy, drive more bookings and forge deeper relationships with prospective customers.

Kyle Morley

 | January 3 ,2023

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