Globetrender reveals 2022 travel trends

Discrimination against younger travellers, a return to city breaks and the rise of ‘conspicuous hedonism’ have all been tipped as key 2022 trends by travel trend forecasting agency Globetrender.

The company’s 2022 Travel Trend Forecast was published this week and identifies ten factors set to shape the travel industry over the next year.

One of the report’s top trends was Gen Zalpha Inequity, which refers to the discrimination children who have not been fully vaccinated will experience when going on a family holiday.

The report said Gen Zalpha - the combined generations of Gen Alphas and young Gen Zs aged 0 to 17 - will face fresh challenges in this new “viral age” of travel, where vaccination status will be “key”.

The report said: “Many families will find themselves in a situation where parents can avoid quarantine and testing, but their children won’t. They might even find that they won’t be allowed entry at all to countries where being fully jabbed is an entry requirement.”

Globetrender also flagged an 'urban rebirth’ following a two-year period where travellers favoured rural, coastal and wilderness regions. The report said cities would see the return of travellers from abroad “as the severity of the pandemic wanes and mass immunity rises”.

‘Conspicuous hedonism’ will also be prevalent in the travel industry, according to Globetrender, whereby a pent-up need for fun will lead to “unashamed indulgence and debauchery”.

Likening the post-pandemic age to the Roaring Twenties, the report said: “Globetrender predicts that loud-and-proud parties (rather than illicit underground gatherings) will be back with a vengeance - for adults of all ages. So will opportunities to dabble in the ‘sins of the flesh’ (orgies are back in vogue), to dance among crowds, to spend frivolously, to indulge in opulent feasts, live out fantasies and recline in maximalist surroundings. ‘Mindfulness’ and ‘responsible’ travel will not necessarily be front of mind.”

The 2022 Travel Trend Forecast also warned of a boom in travel company greenwashing - dubbed by the brand as ‘eco overload’ - and highlighted 20 trends from 2020 and 2021, including sustainability paradoxes and slow wellness. 

Jenny Southan, editor, founder and chief executive of Globetrender, said: “There are a lot of hurdles to overcome in the viral age, not just in terms of the logistics of administering booster shots, updating vaccine passports and streamlining biosecurity protocols at borders, but in terms of learning how we live with the virus. Over-caution from governments is proving incredibly damaging to economies, businesses, livelihoods and individual liberties. 

“However, Globetrender predicts that despite a rocky start, 2022 will be the year that sees greater certainty for the travel industry, more consistency and logic behind the rules and regulations governing traveller freedom, and increased country openings that allow for the free-flow of domestic citizens and international visitors alike.” 

She added: "One of the biggest warnings for the travel industry, though, is Eco Overload – a trend Globetrender has named not only for the increasing pressures the planet is facing in terms of climate change and the exploitation of natural resources, but the rising fatigue consumers are experiencing from constant exposure to environmental horror stories. To avoid accusations of ‘greenwashing’, travel companies must talk less and do more.” 

Photo credit: The Opposite House, Beijing

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