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5 trends shaping travel in 2022

With so much beauty at our doorsteps, South Africans will have their choice of mountain getaways, safaris, wellness retreats or soaking up the sunshine on balmy beaches. Picture: Joshua Woroniecki/Pixabay.

With so much beauty at our doorsteps, South Africans will have their choice of mountain getaways, safaris, wellness retreats or soaking up the sunshine on balmy beaches. Picture: Joshua Woroniecki/Pixabay.

Published Feb 23, 2022

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Significant trends impacting travel for 2022 and beyond, based on key findings from famous reward programme Marriott Bonvoy and Marriott International Market vice-president Seán Maher.

5 travel trends for 2022:

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1. Holi-YAY

“South Africans, like foreign markets, are eager to go between the waves for the sake of their mental and emotional health. A change of scenery has been very important, and frequent, short getaways have become a way to refresh and recharge. We expect this trend to continue in 2022 due to the ongoing uncertainties around the pandemic and its impact on the easing of international travel,” says Maher.

With so much beauty at our doorsteps, South Africans will have their choice of mountain getaways, safaris, wellness retreats or soaking up the sunshine on balmy beaches.

2. Travel Well

Some visitors are looking for more thoughtful, immersive experiences that allow them to enjoy location exploration while also recharging their batteries. Today’s affluent travellers are transitioning from a ’box ticking’ perspective to a ’travelling well’ one, taking a more thoughtful, intentional approach to trip preparation, according to a global luxury trends study performed in co-operation with creative agency Team One.

There is a genuine embrace of deeper travel as people re-examine and re-prioritise what matters most to them, a change that has intensified over the past two years.

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“Many South Africans are embracing what’s been available to them during restrictions and have explored new activities,” explains Maher.

“For instance, we’ve seen a boom in domestic road-tripping holidays and people exploring different destinations offering different kinds of experiences. This has been balanced by South African travellers still looking for good value and making the most of our Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programme.”

3. Spontaneous Travel

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Planning ahead when it comes to travel has proven to be difficult during the pandemic. This has resulted in new travel booking trends, with consumers booking vacations that would have been scheduled months in advance prior to the epidemic, within a few weeks or even only a few days’ notice.

“Our hotels have adapted to an increase in last-minute, spontaneous travel plans. The travel restrictions have also led to consumers being more open to travelling last minute to any destination that is available to them,” explains Maher.

There’s also no need to venture too far if you’re looking to get away on a whim. Our major cities are surrounded by a plethora of thrilling game reserves and small towns with a rustic appeal that is ideal for day trips.

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4. Friendcation

While many avoided crowds, hotels and airports at all costs during the early stages of the pandemic, according to stats shared by Hotel Mize, “40% of Gen Z travellers travelled abroad in 2020. That’s the highest share of all generational cohorts.”

As more opportunities for travel become available, young people are yearning for a break from being cooped up with their families. Unconventional accommodation seems to be their go-to, especially for events like group get-togethers and special occasions. The hospitality sector has seen a boom in bridal parties booking these spots for bachelorette weekends away where they can take over the entire villa to enjoy the space.

5. Bleisure travel

Combining the words to create ‘bleisure’, business trips and travel for enjoyment are now becoming a huge deal within the tourism and hospitality industries. Since 2020, people have either had no choice but to work from home in line with Covid regulations, or they simply chose to leave the office environment to protect themselves and their families.

Despite the fact that this word was first coined in 2011, the Covid-19 pandemic showed us that we can work from anywhere in the world, and so that’s exactly what people have been doing.

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