Is conspicuous hedonism really back? Globetrender, the UK’s leading travel trend forecasting agency thinks so. Recently release, Globetrender’s 2022 travel trend forecast explores key trends that will define the near-future of global tourism.
Last year the report highlighted Anti-Viral Arrivals, Sustainability Paradoxes and Slow Wellness. Jenny Southan, editor, founder and CEO of Globetrender, says: “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.
“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.” We hope so.
In the meantime here are the four trends that got us thinking most.
When it comes to travelling with minimal impediments during the Viral Age, vaccine status is key. As immunity passports are more widely introduced, it will also mean those that aren’t jabbed will also find themselves banned from entering public places such as restaurants and galleries unless they have taken a recent test and can prove they are healthy.
For families looking to go abroad in 2022, this will create new challenges as restrictions will be placed on unjabbed Gen Alphas and young Gen Zs (together, Globetrender refers to them as Gen Zalpha – defined as those aged 0 to 17).
During the time that vaccines weren’t an option for Gen Zalphas, they had more freedom – so long as their parents were jabbed, they could receive the same benefits. In 2022, 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.
For the last two years, tourists have been shunning cities in favour of rural, coastal and wilderness regions that offer fresh air, plenty of space and little in the way of other people. But as the severity of the pandemic wanes, and mass immunity rises in 2022 and beyond, cities will see the return of travellers from abroad who have long missed the social and cultural richness they offer.
This Urban Rebirth will be greatly welcomed as cities in particular have suffered from a lack of tourists during the health crisis. In the months ahead, after the Omicron scare and, in many cases, in line with the roll-out of vaccine passports that provide access to restaurants and museums, we will see the resurgence of city breaks.
There has been a lot of talk about how, post-pandemic, this decade will be known as the “Roaring Twenties”. Just as the 1920s saw an explosion of wild, jazz and alcohol-fuelled parties in the face of restrictions imposed during the US Prohibition era, Globetrender predicts that citizens of the 2020s will seek the sensual pleasures they have been denied during the Covid-19 crisis.
History – and human nature – shows us that people can only tolerate constraints on their freedom for so long. At some point, individuals rebel and even in the most serious of contexts, the yearning for fun, joy and liberation is irrepressible.
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.
One of the biggest warnings for the travel industry, though, is Eco Overload, says Jenny Southan, editor, founder and CEO of Globetrender - 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.”