This article is based on the Accor Northern Europe Travel Trends Report and highlights 10 key findings of great importance to architects, interior designers and design lovers in general. Read on to get an introduction to post-pandemic travel needs and learn how to meet them. Want to study the full report? Click here to read the Accor Northern Europe Travel Trends Report. But first: let me introduce you to the main conclusions.
The Accor Northern Europe Travel Trends Report looks at how Covid-19 has changed our behaviour and how this will influence the way we travel, live, work and play in 2022 and beyond. Across five European countries; UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Russia, Accor surveyed 6,000 people about their future travel plans. The results were highly positive as more than 80% plan to travel in 2022. Actually, they want to travel a lot and after two years of restrictions, they want to spend significant sums.
More than 80% plan to travel in 2022 and are willing to spend 39% more on travel this year.
Pre-pandemic, in 2019, 1.3 billion people travelled around the world - a number that had been growing at 4.5% every year for the last two decades. Based on the report, you can be confident people will travel again for both leisure and business. Research shows that people are incredibly keen to travel, and on average are planning 3.8 trips in 2022, with an intention to spend, on average, 39% more on travel in 2022 compared to 2019.
Beach holidays top the wish list for travel in 2022 with 33% planning sun and sand. City breaks (26%) are expected to return strongly as the desire for cosmopolitan culture returns. The rewilding of mindful travel continues with 30% of travellers seeking holidays in nature in 2022.
While Covid-19 doubled our desire to explore our own country, at the end of 2021 just 14% of travellers were planning staycations and at the start of 2022 that number had doubled to 28%. Overall, 25% of respondents are more likely to staycation as a result of Covid-19. Also, after two challenging years, 14% of those polled are planning "all-out" luxury, the trip of a lifetime, to make up for all the lost travel in the pandemic years.
From holiday millionaires to solitude and hybrid working. Read on to dig into the 10 most important travel trends right now.
If they have the cash, people - after two years of restrictions - want to splash it. On average, travellers intend to spend 39% more on travel in 2022 while 14% are looking for "all-out" luxury in 2022. Unwilling to compromise, this group will be happy to spend more for dream destinations, signature suites and expansive villas. The aim is to have fun and live luxuriously on holiday even if they lack €1m in liquid assets to do the same in their ordinary lives. Echoing the freedom, we imagine multi-millionaires feel all the time, ultra-all-inclusives will play their part in this sense of largess as people finally have that long-awaited holiday.
In the survey, sustainability and a trip's impact on the planet was a deciding factor for 87%. Biophilia - the love of nature, the sounds of waves, the rustle of tree leaves, cloud-watching and the feeling of sand between the toes - can be seen as a mix of achievement and philantourist commitment. We want to spend time in pristine nature, we want to take our children there and we want it to be around for our children's children. The survey shows that a countryside escape (20%), lakeside (12%) and rural solitude (10%) has significant appeal. Wildbeing escapes have never been more popular: either solo or with friends or family, the chance to have unfettered access to the kind of landscape only seen on screensavers in recent years. Guests will also seek out hotels providing a sense of caring. An example of the new mindset is that saltwater swimming pools will become default options in coastal areas.
The recuperative role travel plays in our lives was clearly demonstrated by the 67% of those surveyed who felt "being somewhere different enables me to clear my head and restore some order in my life", while 66% agreed that "one of my biggest priorities when going on holiday is boosting my mental wellbeing and leaving my stresses behind". People want - and believe - that they'll take longer trips to help them deal with the mental and physical exhaustion caused by Covid-19. Once we arrive at our chosen destination, we'll stay there as long as we can, albeit with the potential trade-off that we might do a little work occasionally to achieve this.
Wellbeing escapes have never been more popular: either solo or with friends or family. Many of the participants in the survey expressed interest that their destination might offer self-improvement in some way or reach that mythical 'flow' state where we're completely absorbed. Craft classes are increasingly popular when on holiday, in part to aid mindfulness. In the study 42% agreed "I would like to go on a holiday which enabled me to practice mindfulness". Also bear in mind that mindfulness apps and podcasts have surged in popularity.
What was called self-care during the height of the pandemic will evolve to include travel in 2022. It might be a short solo trip as a way of temporarily shedding household responsibilities, recharging your batteries and finally reading the new paperback - all without guilt. Alongside this, hotels will increasingly make adjustments that make solo travellers feel comfortable about staying alone, from nonintimidating lobby bars, club rooms and events, including micro-festivals and live music or classes. There's an element of "Des voyages désorganisés" to this trend, it incorporates impromptu last-minute trips, the perfect riposte to months of having to painstakingly assemble everything. Whatever the choice of escape, "me time" will rank higher than ever in 2022.
Hotels will increasingly make adjustments that make solo travellers feel comfortable, from nonintimidating lobby bars, club rooms and events, including micro-festivals and live music or classes.
Accor's general population research in Northern Europe indicated 1 in 10 plan to extend their holidays by working abroad in 2022 and 53% agreed with the statement: "I love the freedom of working from anywhere". A destination that incorporates the ability to work is a growing trend, both as a work-life-balance tactic and an incentive that might help companies retain key talent for the future. Private schools are increasingly incorporating hybrid learning into their curriculum, which allows families to temporarily relocate anywhere in the world, without children missing out on education. When this generation grows up, it'll see being able to combine serious study next to a beautiful tropical beach as the norm.
Hotels are increasingly building longstay offerings, especially villas, into their projects. In urban areas, Lockdown Leavers departed cities for space and countryside during the pandemic. They'll head back to the office periodically but also stay overnight, especially when the price of an overnight hotel stay is comparable with travelling home at peak time on the train.
After two years of a pandemic that has seen cities become more sparse, significant numbers want to be surrounded by people, architecture and experiences - to feel part of human life again. City breaks are expected to boom in 2022, already a quarter of travellers (26%) are planning trips this year, a yearning for art, architecture and cultural events. After two years of social and cultural isolation, many now seek social immersion, to be surrounded by people, culture and experiences. They want choice and spontaneity, with hotels that feel both distinctive and part of the neighbourhood, where their own research can be augmented by suggestions from a plugged-in staff.
We're in a new era of companionship. In 2022, we want to catch up with far-flung friends and families and remember why we love the ones we've shared lockdowns with. Early bookings indicate very high demand for larger private homes and villas. So are group bookings for hotels, with shared and interlocking rooms and facilities that help people have both group experiences and privacy.
The report also forecasts a growth in "gramping" - grandparents taking their grandchildren on holiday without their parents. Not only does this offset the expense of childcare during the summer holidays but it also allows grandparents to enjoy longer, more meaningful interactions with the children they've missed so much, while housekeeping and catering are taken care of. Multi-generational travel, often seeing three generations of the same family, continues to boom amongst travellers.
Multi-generational travel, often seeing three generations of the same family, continues to boom amongst travellers.
Naturally some trips will not be complete without the family pet in tow. According to data, 2.1m young adults aged 24-35 got a lockdown pet. A dog bed and treats will greet many doglovers on check-in this year; at the luxury end, pets will even be able to enjoy special menus, massages and grooming sessions during their hotel stay.
The service, amenities and facilities which are so integral to great hotels, are now transforming home ownership. The branded residences category is rapidly expanding, having proven appealing to affluent clients around the globe. Savills International Development Consultancy has charted their growth at 230% in the last decade while Frank Knight’s Global Buyer Survey in 2021 put the figure willing to pay a premium for a branded hotel residence at 39%.
Everyone wants to belong; from streaming services and social media to being recognised in our local coffee shop. If we're loyal it's nice to see it returned and especially nice if those rewards can feel personal. Therefore, there's a wish for loyalty programmes to become travel companions that provide assistance for members. Not only hotel accommodation needs, but also entertainment, hobbies, leisure, mobility and financial services. Loyalty programmes can be transformed into ecosystems; if you go to a bar you can get points, if you go to a shop you can get points, and you can use them in restaurants or to check into a hotel.
Now that you're on the trend hunt, maybe you also want to dig into True Nature - the most important biophilic interior design trend in 2022? Read the inspiring article on our The Urge to Explore Space blog and find out how to explore the True Nature exhibitions in our showrooms. If you want to learn more about how to turn travel trends into carpet choices, feel free to reach out to your local consultant who's only a click or call away. We're beyond happy to help and can't wait to hear from you!
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