With the arrival of spring, mask mandates, travel restrictions and, most importantly, high infection rates have tapered off.
According to a new survey from AARP, 77% of older travelers (ages 50-plus) feel it is safe to vacation this year compared to only 40% last year.
Meanwhile, among all age groups, younger generations intend to vacation most during the next 12 months, with Gen Zs and Millennials leading the way, planning an average of 5.0 and 4.1 trips respectively according to the Portrait of American Travelers “Spring Edition.”
While COVID-19 becomes less of a worry, surging gas prices, the war in Ukraine and climate change are taking over the feeds and expected to play a role in travel decisions moving into the busy spring and summer months.
The following is a summary of trends and industry shifts that MMGY NJF has compiled from recent media feedback, widespread coverage, industry conferences and webinars:
- Travel & Leisure is highlighting road trips in July! Take a scenic route and embrace the incredible journeys that the world has to offer. Submissions due by April 25.
- The Wall Street Journal has promoted Candace Taylor to features editor. She has been at the paper since 2013 and most recently served as residential real estate reporter/editor. Prior to joining the Journal, Taylor spent five years at The Real Deal Magazine as deputy managing editor, and before that reported for The New York Sun and New York Magazine.
- BNC Shuts Down Permanently – The inception of the Florida-based Tallahassee start-up news outlet committed to amplifying Black and Brown voices began with a revered mission; however, the Black News Channel has ceased operations after only two years on the air.
- The End of PeopleTV – The closure of the PeopleTV show follows the announcement last month from Dotdash Meredith parent company IAC that it was shuttering the print editions of six glossies (Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, EatingWell, Health, Parents, People en Español) it acquired when it bought Meredith Corp. last year.
Trends Impacting the Travel Industry
- Rise in Solo Travelers – According to the Portrait of American Travelers “Spring Edition,” one in four travelers plan to travel solo in the next six months with Gen-Z and Millennials leading the way. Male travelers are more likely than their female counterparts to travel alone. Thirty percent of male travelers are likely to travel solo in comparison to 19% of female travelers.
- One in a Lifetime – Travelers are craving local experiences according to data insights company, AirSage. The “experience economy” is huge in the travel industry. But fewer and fewer people may be settling for commonplace vacation activities in the coming years. Instead, “consumers [will] pursue authentic experiences, distancing themselves from mainstream tourism providers and venturing into pastimes that feel more meaningful.” AirSage marks this as an emerging trend because “people no longer want boring and conventional travel experiences as much as they used to.” Instead, they would rather pay for vacations that are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Airbnb is betting on this trend. Their website has offered the opportunity for consumers to book “experiences” since 2016.
- Business Meets Leisure in a Big Way – The latest statistics say there are nearly 5 million digital nomads in America. The concept of being location-independent, traveling and working remotely has become even more popular since the pandemic started. The hospitality industry is starting to cater specifically to digital nomads. Aruba is opening its beaches up to travelers who’d like to work remotely, calling the marketing campaign “One Happy Workation.” Visitors can stay for up to 90 days and do not need any governmental documentation. Barbados and the Cayman Islands will also let you work remotely from paradise for an extended period. Booking.com reports that the “workation” trend is going strong.