From mass tourism towards more individuality and flexibility: the coronavirus pandemic has changed travel. This is evidenced by this year’s German travel trends.
New year, new travel plans: As the new year begins, good intentions are traditionally associated with holiday wishes. Although 2022 began with some restrictions due to Corona: Germans’ desire to travel did not stop. The needs of vacationers have changed in the context of the pandemic. Tourist and long-distance travel times are over for now. Travel trends for 2022 are destinations and types of vacations with sustainable, individual and flexible relaxation, primarily in Germany and Europe.
After nearly two years of the Corona pandemic full of obstacles and taboos, there is a great desire to travel without worries again. This was determined by the Holiday and Travel Research Community (FUR) in a recently published annual travel analysis. The survey reveals a positive starting point for tourism. The percentage of desire for vacations is 61 percent, compared to 51 percent in the previous year. In line with the need to catch up with travel or the “pent-up desire to travel,” as researchers call it, the time (72 percent) and money (70 percent) factors to travel are cheaper than they are. Since 2013.
Despite these excellent conditions, according to the FUR rice analysis, demand is expected to decrease this year compared to the year before Corona 2019. According to experts, high interest does not automatically lead to a corresponding demand. Currently Germans are still hesitant, and only 11 percent of those surveyed have booked. The impossibility of changing Corona regulations means that many people have to wait and see before planning and booking their trip. In all, FUR expects a volume of 60 million holiday trips by the Germans. This corresponds to about ten million more than in 2020, but also 11 million less than in 2019. And compared to 2020/2021, this still means a step towards normalcy – to the situation before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic.
Germany and Europe travel destinations
Germany was and remains the favorite travel destination for Germans. In 2021, most people spent their holidays in their country – and this is likely to continue in 2022. According to FUR experts, a significant part of flights will again be made in Germany and Europe this year, and the percentage of flights will again be lower than before the pandemic . After all, destinations between the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Bavarian Mountains are easily accessible by car. According to a survey conducted by Statista last year, the Baltic Sea ranked first among the most popular travel destinations for Germans, followed by Austria and Spain. Even before Corona, local holidays were common, but the epidemic has only intensified.
Solo travel instead of group trips
Spending a whole day in the hotel carefree in all respects between the pool and the buffet? Fewer and fewer vacationers want it. It is increasingly moving away from package tourism and towards individual travel experiences. This means fewer cruises and fewer comprehensive vacations. Instead, according to forecasts, Germans prefer to spend their holidays in 2022 camping, in holiday homes and in individually booked hotels. Another trend is the discovery of countries that have hitherto been spared from mass tourism and have not yet been recognized or explored. For example, Slovenia, Georgia, Romania, Mongolia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Cape Verde are currently considered domestic tips. Here, travelers move off the beaten path and thus experience the country and its people more authentically.
Destinations in nature
Get out of the big city and go to nature: Many Germans want to spend their holidays in 2022 in destinations with the opportunity to spend time in nature. Whether it’s at the beach or sea, on an outdoor trip or on a farm vacation. Above all, yearning for summer and sun, and a beach vacation, is great this year. FUR travel analysis indicates that destinations around the Mediterranean in particular will recover from the Corona recession. Spain comes at the forefront of those countries, followed by Turkey, Greece and Italy. According to FUR travel analysis, camping holidays, considered low in contact and especially popular since Corona, are also making new friends. Not many people in Germany have ever expressed interest in vacationing in a motorhome (15 percent) or in a caravan (12 percent). The camping feeling of living in the middle of nature also provides the perfect basis for many outdoor activities.
sluggishness and alertness
After nearly two turbulent Corona years with a high level of tension, the majority of Germans are looking to slow down. The holiday should relax and flatter the soul. For example, in a Booking.com survey, the majority of travelers said that vacations help their mental and emotional health more than other forms of self-care. That’s why vacationers and backpackers alike want to use their vacation this year to completely stop everyday life and recharge their batteries. Appropriately, 73 percent of those surveyed said their vacation time would be absolutely without work in the future. Above all, travel serves well-being and inner balance – be it in a healthy temple or a secluded cabin in the mountains.
Last minute vacation or spontaneous trip
Every day the pandemic shows us how quickly plans can change. Lots of people have had to change their vacation plans again in the past couple of years. Cancellations, rebooks and selection of other destinations due to constantly new restrictions in the originally desired holiday destination have become a new routine. Doubts about Corona will remain in 2022. So, at the start of the year, Germans are still not sure if and when – and they wait – they should book their next flight. So travel experts are expecting only a handful of pre-planned trips this year. Instead, the focus is on last minute trips or spontaneous trips. If you book your vacation at short notice, you have less choice than booking early, but you can respond better to current developments in the contagion process and change your travel plans if necessary. Another important direction is flexibility and spontaneity, even after booking: additional security is provided by free cancellation or rebooking if the situation requires it.
Christmas shopping in New York or the long weekend in Ibiza is no longer up to date in 2022. The awareness that certain flights are an environmental disaster due to their massive carbon dioxide footprint is making travelers increasingly rethink. So sustainable tourism is one of the travel trends in the coming year. Tourists are increasingly making sure to keep their ecological footprint as small as possible even though they are on vacation. For example, through local travel rather than long-distance travel, choosing eco-friendly transportation and accommodation and leisure activities. Sustainable behavior at the holiday destination is also promoted by avoiding plastic, shopping at local markets, and supporting local activities. Vacations should be fun without harming the planet.