What’s changed about where and how Brits will be travelling post-pandemic?

By Linsey McNeill
Home » What’s changed about where and how Brits will be travelling post-pandemic?

Long-haul travel is expected to bounce back this year, but consumers aren’t necessarily looking for the same holidays that appealed pre-COVID. Here are some of the key findings from the latest PATA Patterns report:

#1 Consumers are looking to splash the cash

Denied the opportunity to travel to most of the Asia Pacific for the past two years, many consumers are looking to splash out in 2022. In fact, Experience Travel Group says its average booking is up by about £3,000!

#2 It’s all about friends and families

Having been separated from loved ones during successive lockdowns, people are keen to travel with family or friends this summer. CV Villas says its multigenerational bookings are up 61% over 2019 while Samui-based Samujana says there’s been a 20% increase in bookings for larger villas.

Operators are also seeing lots of delayed special occasion bookings, such as ‘big’ birthdays and, of course, weddings.

#3 Mindfulness is a growing trend

Operators are catering to what they see as a growing demand for ‘healthy holidays’ which focus on mental as well as physical well-being. New products include a ‘Pause, Focus and Growth’ programme at Dusit International hotels, seasonal wellness retreats at Pumphouse Point in Tasmania and outdoor yoga at the Absolute Sanctuary in Thailand’s Koh Samui.

# 4 Single-centre holidays are back!

The pandemic has accelerated the trend towards slow travel, which started to emerge as a growing trend in 2018 and has gathered momentum ever since. Exhausting tickbox itineraries are definitely out, says Experience Travel Group’s Mark Brazier.

“Now it’s much more about going to fewer stops, staying longer and really immersing yourself.”

#5 Green is the new black

Sustainability isn’t just a buzz word, says PATA, consumers are really starting to care about the impact their holidays are having on the environment. This is influencing their choice and mode of travel, and they’re more concerned about animal welfare and using local guides and shopping and eating locally.

#6  Road trips are having a renaissance

The availability of luxurious motorhomes means the road trip is no longer just for the budget traveller, families are also getting in on the trend.

South Australia says this is an increasingly important market. “Road trips will be a focus as Australia lends itself to road tripping as the distances are relatively short, and visitors can experience such diverse landscapes in an easy to follow itinerary on sealed roads,” says Janice Kurrle of South Australian Tourism Commission.

# 7 Value for money is key

Not everyone has cash to splash, but for those looking for budget holidays, Asia offers particularly good value, says PATA. In March, budget airline Scoot will launch three flights a week between London Gatwick and Bangkok.

# 8 The Great Escape
New Zealand

Life in lockdown has created a thirst for the outdoors and especially remote destinations, says PATA, with operators seeing an increase in demand for places like the Maldives, especially those islands with stand-alone villas and in-villa dining.

African safaris in luxury campsites are also providing popular, says Ian Woods of Red Elephant Reps.

#9 Agents are (travel) angels

There is highly likely to be a rise in the percentage of bookings through travel agents as consumers look for expert help in navigating complex and ever-changing entry rules.

Ian Dockreay of Equator Learning and Travel Uni estimates around 30% of consumers are more likely to book with an agent than pre-pandemic.

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