At the dawn of a new year bringing hope for a possible better control of the pandemic, what are the emerging tourist trends and how do the French intend to travel in the months to come? Are the trends observed in 2021 still valid or will they be replaced by new ones?
The health crisis is not yet behind us but that does not prevent the French from already planning and thinking about the next stays they will make in this year 2022. After a still complicated year 2021 due to restrictions of travel and border closures of certain countries, will we see the emergence of the phenomenon of revenge travel (revenge through travel) in the months to come? Several studies have been carried out by various tourism stakeholders in order to draw the outlines of the major tourism trends that will mark this new year.
The results of an Opinionway survey, carried out for the comparator Liligo on a sample of 1,000 French people, show that the latter are much more motivated to go on vacation this year than in 2021. Indeed, the percentage goes from 37% to 42% in just one year and as a mode of transport, the car remains in the lead with 60% against 39% for the plane and 20% for the train. Only 15% say they do not want to travel before the end of the pandemic, 23 points less than a year earlier.
A figure that contrasts with those recorded last year is that of reservations made in advance, among those planning to go on vacation or weekend in 2022, 76% plan to book more than a month in advance. Last-minute bookings are no longer popular, with the percentage of people booking less than a month in advance falling from 52% to 23%. But unsurprisingly France remains the destination of choice for 2 out of 3 respondents, however the evolution of the pandemic and border closures or other quarantine measures could change the situation.
Tourlane, an online travel site, also carried out a survey of 600 French people and the first observation is the high proportion of people wishing to travel this year, which represents 3 out of 4 French people. booking and cancellation remains a very important criterion in view of the constant evolution of the health situation in France and around the world.
This year more than ever, visitors want to go to destinations where they can spend time outdoors, a criterion mentioned by 72% of them. A desire that goes hand in hand with the new big trend that are active holidays promoted by all generations. Beach holidays obviously remain a must for 16% of respondents and finally road trips are gaining in popularity, especially among younger generations fond of adventure and new experiences.
2022 should also be the year in which sustainable tourism gains momentum, 53% say that criteria related to sustainable development influence their travel choices. After having spent two years traveling in France or in Europe, 43% of respondents express their need to discover more distant destinations outside the borders of Europe. The top 3 trending destinations outside Europe for 2022 consist of:
- UNITED STATES
For its part, Abritel has taken an interest in the behavior of French families for their future holidays and this study has revealed 5 major trends. First of all, 88% of them say they want to take advantage of the holidays to spend more time with family or friends and cherish these moments. The health crisis having had a strong impact on the social relations of the French, the stays represent an opportunity to make up for this lost time and to find ourselves all together. Pets will also be there, as shown by the percentage of people who already travel with them or wish to do so in the future, which stands at 65%. Our four-legged friends are considered an integral part of families, so travelers do not want to be separated from them during their stays and also want them to have a good time on vacation.
For 71% of respondents, holidays should be a real break from daily life and especially from their professional life. The gap between work and holidays must be clear to enjoy a real moment of relaxation far from constraints and stress, so more and more of them say they no longer check their professional emails during their holidays. However, 30% of French people are more inclined to work, telework spreading more and more in many companies. A desire combined with the desire of 78% of them to go on vacation longer, at least 2 weeks. Also, some say they are ready to pay more to afford superior services such as luxurious or unusual accommodation.
Finally the latest trend confirms the results of the study for Liligo, last minute bookings are losing popularity in favor of bookings made well in advance, with a small percentage even saying that they will book even earlier than before the pandemic. Thus 52% will book between 3 and 5 months before departure and 23% between 6 and 8 months. The reasons pushing tourists to book so far in advance are better prices for 28%, more choice for 23% and finally the fear that nothing will be available for 22%.
The survey conducted by Marriott Bonvoy focuses on winter holidays, which are experiencing a strong resurgence among French tourists. Indeed, they are 43% from during this period this year and it will be a first for 12% of them. But why such a sudden craze? For a majority of them, these vacations represent an opportunity to make up for missed summer vacations, thus confirming the trend of revenge travel.
And just like Abritel, the Marriott study proves that holidays this year will be synonymous with reuniting with loved ones. Thus, 81% of French people have planned to leave in 2022 with other family members than the usual family unit because they have not been able to see each other as much as they wanted due to the pandemic. In addition, going with the family allows you to save money and this argument is not negligible for 12% of the respondents who could not have afforded a stay financially speaking without the help of their family.
The year 2022 thus brings its share of novelties and changes in behavior and expectations, but also reinforces trends that have already emerged during previous years marked by the health crisis. It remains to be seen how the national and global health situation will evolve and whether or not this will have an impact on travel intentions and the tourism trends identified.