G Adventures gazes into its crystal globe to predict the year ahead

As we embark on a new year, G Adventures has dug into its data to reveal what travelers are looking for as the world opens up again. While there is still some uncertainty in terms of changing requirements for travel in the face of the global pandemic, one thing is clearer than ever – the traveler has changed. 

Assisted by its panel of avid travelers, G Adventures has identified the top 10 trends for traveling in 2022, with insights into how people want to travel and where they want to go. These patterns have been coupled with new trip highlights launched for travel this year by the adventure operator and community tourism pioneer, as well as newsworthy reasons for people to visit. 

Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, says the trends clearly reveal the pandemic has produced a more conscious traveler and has presented operators with a huge opportunity for change.  

“The pandemic has woken travelers up and given them a chance to reflect on how they were traveling before. The data tells us people have become more purposeful and intentional about how and why they are traveling and where they are going, and they are recognizing the positive impact travel can have on local communities when decisions are made wisely.”

G Adventures’ top 10 predictions for 2022 travel are as follows: 

  1. THE TREND: Community tourism is the solution to responsible travel

According to G Adventures’ latest panel research, 25 percent of respondents say they will place more focus on traveling responsibly in 2022. With the increased focus on community and support of locally-owned businesses fostered during the pandemic, it makes sense that this mindset carries over into international travel plans. Travelers are looking for adventures that support community tourism, and trails are a great way for tourists to spread wealth through multiple smaller villages. 

THE TRIP: Highlights of the Trans Bhutan Trail 

In April 2022, following two years of extensive restoration, the Kingdom of Bhutan will reopen its historic and sacred Trans Bhutan Trail for the first time in 60 years, supporting remote communities in Bhutan through community tourism. Serendipitously, bookings to Bhutan are up 60 percent globally for 2022. G Adventures is the first operator to run tours on this ancient trail and a 12-day Active trip traveling from Paro return is priced from $4,149pp for departures from 01 May, 2022. 

Egypt has become an increasingly popular destination. Photo courtesy of G Adventures

2. THE TREND: Travelers care most about supporting local people

The most important factor for people when they travel is that their money benefits local people, at 66 percent globally. This trend has been intensified by the impact of the pandemic on those countries who rely on tourism for their economic survival, and came in well ahead of other important considerations such as minimizing one’s carbon footprint and / or reducing plastics consumption (both at 15 percent globally). 

THE TRIP: Highlights of Egypt

Egypt’s tourism industry was devastated by the Arab Spring and again by the pandemic, but it was one of the first to reopen to tourism this year with G Adventures’ tours restarting in February, 2021. In 2022, Egypt has increased its share of bookings by 22 percent globally and with the reopening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, the opening of the Pyramid of Dozer, the reopening of Luxor’s Avenue of Sphinxes, and the release of Kenneth’s Branagh’s rebooted Death on the Nile film, it’ll continue to be firmly in the media spotlight. A 14-day trip traveling from Cairo return is priced from $1,699 pp. 

3. THE TREND: ‘Workations’ increase in popularity 

As the world shifted to remote working, companies realised office confines were no longer required to ensure productivity. Previously the domain of the digital nomad, ‘workations’ have hit the mainstream. 24 percent of respondents to G Adventures’ most recent survey say they are able to ‘work from anywhere’ – with that number rising to 46 percent for those aged 18-34. An increasing number of people plan to combine work with travel in future at 47 percent, up from 18 percent in December 2020. 

THE TRIP: Costa Rica: Beaches, Wildlife and Wild Times

Only one of four countries to lift all restrictions for travel according to the UNWTO, Costa Rica has firmly positioned itself as open to travel. Keen to attract young digital nomads, the country passed a bill to allow remote workers and digital nomads to stay for up to one year. To support this trend, G Adventures to partner with Hostelworld to launch the Roamies programme of tours in late-2021, which are all ideal as a way for digital nomads to take a few days to get to know a destination before settling in at the beach for a few weeks of remote work. A six-day trip from Liberia to Tamarindo  is priced from $549 pp.

Merida cenote in Mexico. Photo courtesy of G Adventures

4. THE TREND: Hostels will make a big comeback 

The need for social connection amongst young travelers is stronger than ever with 49 percent of respondents aged 18-34 saying they were likely to try a hostel experience following the pandemic, and 34 percent of those expressing that meeting people to socialize at the hostel, and possibly travel with, is the most important factor when selecting a hostel. 

THE TRIP: Yucatan Adventure: Merida, Tulum & Jungle Swims

Mexico is super hot right now and another new ‘Roamies’ trip designed to maximize social connection and build community, both in the handpicked-hostels and on the road, is this new six-day trip traveling from Mérida to Tulum which packed with highlights and priced from just $599 pp.

5. THE TREND: Travelers want to disconnect from their devices 

Workationers aside, while travelers want to reconnect with people and places, they are desperate to disconnect from the online world while on holiday.58 percent of respondents want to take time out from their devices and social media, with 23 percent saying socializing and meeting new people is their top wellbeing priority when booking their next holiday. 

THE TRIP: GalapagosCentral and East Islands 

G Adventures will debut its newbuild boat, Reina Silvia Voyager, in 2022. Accommodating 16 passengers, with two solo cabins, she is purpose-built for comfortable small-group touring. Travelers will also be the first to visit a new G for Good project developed in partnership with Planeterra – Galapagos Coffee in Puerto Ayora – a community-owned organic coffee farm educating visitors about sustainable coffee production while providing income for 59 local families. A 10-day trip from Quito return is priced from $6,849 pp. 

Japan is expecting a huge tourist boom. Photo courtesy of G Adventures

6. THE TREND: Travelers will have a bit more cash to splash 

With staying in spurring a savings boom, 17 percent of travel-starved respondents said they had increased their travel budget for their next international holiday, which means their travel dollars are likely to take them on bigger adventures than they might have thought possible before.

THE TRIP: National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures – Iconic Japan 

Japan was expecting a huge tourist boom as a result of the summer Olympics, and had been heavily spotlighted before COVID closed the country’s borders. Although it remains closed, there is pent up demand, and those with a little extra savings may turn their attention to a dream trip to Japan as restrictions are lifted. National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures ‘Iconic Japan’ trip hits all the highlights in style. A 12-day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto is priced from $5,799 pp. 

7. THE TREND: The staycation is over – travelers want to go further afield

The domestic holiday appeal is wearing off as the pandemic rolls on. Only 13 percent of respondents said they would prefer to stay closer to home as opposed to heading further afield on their next international holiday, with close to half – 48 percent – saying they were less likely to take a ‘staycation’ in 2022.   

THE TRIP: Highlights of Uzbekistan 

Uzbekistan was a rising star pre-pandemic, and looking ahead to 2022 travel, with the trend for more remote destinations, the country has increased its share of sales by 24 per cent. 2021 marked Uzbekistan’s 30th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union, and a new airport opened in Samarkand. 2022 will also see the opening of the Silk Road Samarkand Complex which will host the inaugural Silk Road Literary Festival, bringing even more attention to this lesser-visited nation. A 10-day trip from Tashkent return is priced from $1,499 pp.  

8. THE TREND: Lockdown life has led to a desire to be more active 

76 percent of those surveyed want to be physically active on their next holiday and with 69 percent of travelers polled saying their physical and mental wellbeing is a top consideration when booking a vacation, taking a hike never sounded more appealing. 

THE TRIP: Zion to San Francisco Adventure

The United States increased its share of bookings for 2022 by 58 percent when compared to pre-pandemic booking levels. This led G Adventures to launch a new program of ‘United States of Adventures’ trips that are perfectly positioned to cater to active travelers looking to exert a little more energy on their next holiday. A 14-day trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco is priced from $4,199 pp. 

9. THE TREND: Travelers are prioritizing their wellbeing and mental health 

With an overwhelming 97 percent of travelers saying travel is important to their wellbeing and mental health, travelers are also looking to take their next vacation in a way that not only helps them to reconnect, but optimizes travel as a means of revitalization, too.

THE TRIP: Wellness Bali

Indonesia has been dormant for the duration of the pandemic so there will be a ton of pent up demand when it reopens. What better way to experience it than with this Wellness trip full of rest, relaxation and revitalization moments, including an organic cooking class and healing ceremony in Tabanan? A nine-day trip from Ubud to Sanur is priced from $1,699 pp. 

10. THE TREND: Revenge travel is out, reconnection travel is in 

Consumers are hungry for new experiences and connections. Although the term ‘revenge travel’ – the urge to travel to make up for lost time in lockdown – gained popularity over the course of the pandemic, reconnection travel is the top reason for traveling at 37 percent, with revenge travel – booking a trip to make up for lost time – coming in at just 15 percent.

THE TRIP: Trekking Eastern Iceland

A high pandemic performer, Iceland’s bookings are up 317 per cent globally for 2022, and what better way to experience it than with this Active trip which enables travelers to connect with the local community on hikes, walks and visits to local businesses. The owner of the guest house leads this trip so it really is all about reconnecting with the planet and its people. A six-day trip from Egilsstaðir return is priced from $1,899 pp. 

For more information on G Adventures, visit www.gadventures.com

For an additional story about G Adventures visit https://leisuregrouptravel.com/g-adventures-and-hostelworld-join-forces-to-benefit-youth-travel/. To see an interview with Steve Lima of G Adventures, visit https://leisuregrouptravel.com/steve-lima-from-g-adventures/