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in 2022, travel under the sign of caution

If they are determined to pack their bags again, the French no longer quite rhyme holidays with carelessness. Scarred by two years of health crisis and by the innumerable constraints it has placed on the possibilities of travel, the French have changed their decision-making criteria for the organization of their trips. And it is not the current geopolitical context that will invite them to relax their vigilance.

“If the year 2020 was dominated by desires for nature and the outdoors, 2022 will be played out under the sign of caution, analyzes Interface Tourism Insights, which has just delivered its latest barometer. The French certainly go on a trip again, but pay particular attention to cleanliness (classified as important for 39% of them), to health and hygiene standards (39%) and to the presence of high safety standards ( 39% also).” An importance that destinations have been well aware of since the start of the Covid crisis, making their health protocols a real marketing argument.

This cautious attitude also has repercussions on the planning of holidays abroad. Even if the health situation seems to be improving, and that a growing number of destinations are lifting all or part of their restrictions, for the first half of the year, the French will favor short stays abroad (up to 4 days), observes Interface. They will wait for the summer holidays, especially August, to plan longer stays abroad (5 days minimum). As a result, September will also be more privileged than June for its long off-season stays.

How do the French plan to book their trips this year? In terms of booking channels, trends seem to be stabilizing a bit, after last year’s changes, notes Interface: “if travel agencies had benefited from the crisis in terms of booking in agencies or online to the detriment of online reservations on the sites of service providers (airlines, hotels, trains, etc.), we are seeing this year, on the contrary, a gradual return to the purchase of services directly online.” And purchases via online comparators show the strongest growth. They have increased by more than a third since 2020, the study reports. Conversely, reservations for services separately on several sites are down.

The budgetary question, meanwhile, has lost its importance since 2020: from the 3rd most important criterion in the choice of a destination, it now only ranks 9th.

Multi-destination holidays are no longer popular

What holidays do the French want? In 2022, the focus is clearly on the need to recharge and relax, but also on the need to meet and spend time with friends and family, notes Interface. The seaside remains more than ever a safe bet: the proportion of French people declaring that they prefer holidays in the sun and on the beach has almost doubled between 2020 and 2022, reports Interface: with 20% of respondents favoring this type of leave (vs. 11% in 2020), these are the favorite holidays of the French. In second place, the percentage of travelers aspiring to relaxing stays has almost tripled (from 5% to 13%).

Conversely, holidays combining multiple destinations seem to have lost popularity. With the rise of the slow tourism trend, the French increasingly want to take their time in their destination of choice, and no longer multiply the stages: they were 12.5% ​​to appreciate this type of trip in 2020, they are not more than 4.7% in 2022. “City-breaks” are also losing ground: after a particular low in 2021 (4.1%), they have still not reached their pre-pandemic level of popularity (6 .6% in 2020 vs. 5.4% in 2022), the health crisis having kept travelers away from urban destinations.

Finally, in terms of popular destinations, Europe ranks first in terms of travel intentions, with Italy, Portugal and Spain still very popular. The first place in the top 10 is however occupied by Canada for the 3rd consecutive year. The United States is the only other destination outside Europe appearing in the ranking, confirming the popularity of North America with French travellers.

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