As the world opens up again, it’s time to discover Australia’s outlook on travel for 2022 and beyond. As one of the major players in the travel landscape, Melbourne based Luxury Escapes has a bigger lens on traveller behaviour than most. Read on for their findings and insights for global travel appetites in 2022.
There have been moments of hope throughout 2021 — hope that domestic and international travel might resume, restrictions would ease, and life goes back to normal, only for states to slam shut borders and plunge back into lockdown.
However, optimism for travellers and the sector is finally here. The report, surveying over 1,200 respondents, revealed that over 84% of Australians are optimistic about travel in 2022, with 76% confident that it will stay that way when it opens up.
The impact travel has on our mental health
For many, travel means so much more than just a trip to soak up the sun, and that will become even more prevalent in 2022. An overwhelming 90% of Australians say travel positively impacts their mental health, at a time when influences on our state of mind have never been more significant.
Following two years of incredibly isolating times for much of the country, 72% of respondents say travel will be more important for general wellbeing than ever before.
“Travel can play a really important role in people’s wellbeing by offering the opportunity to refresh and reconnect and to learn and grow through encountering new experiences, places and people. Australia is a place that lends itself to travel for improved wellbeing with our abundance of world-class nature, modern, friendly cities, relaxed outdoor lifestyle and warm and welcoming people. As we move out of the pandemic, people will be craving the opportunity to reap the benefits travel brings to one’s physical and mental wellbeing,” says Phillipa Harrison, CEO of Tourism Australia.
Top international destinations for 2022
Australians are ready to explore the world again, with 92% of respondents planning to travel overseas in 2022.
Unsurprisingly, at the top of the list of international destinations to visit is Fiji which reopened to Australian tourists last week, with Luxury Escapes having recorded a 488% increase in sales following the Bula Bubble announcement.
Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill said, “I believe Fiji is so loved by Australians because it’s close and so convenient to get to, and its beaches, snorkelling, water quality, resorts, hinterland, and tourism experiences are as good as anywhere in the world. Coupled with that amazing Fijian spirit – the bula spirit – which makes Fijians so hospitable, genuine and warm, it’s easy to fall in love with Fiji. You can genuinely relax and enjoy your time, or you can do as much as you want – there really are so many options.”
New Zealand (13%), the United Kingdom (7%), the United States (7%) and Indonesia (6%) make up the top five after Fiji.
Spending set to increase
Following a difficult two years for the tourism industry, the positive news is on the horizon as many Australians plan to spend more on travel than ever before.
62% of the nation disclosed they were still saving for travel throughout the pandemic, with one third (36%) of respondents planning to spend more on travel in 2022 than they did pre-pandemic.
55% are looking to treat themselves on their first international holiday with the most popular indulgences, including room and flight upgrades, massages and fine dining.
The blend of travel and work
The findings also show Australians expect flexibility beyond working from home in 2022.
72% of respondents believe workplaces should offer more flexibility when it comes to travelling and working together, with over half (52%) saying they’d be more inclined to accept a job that allows them to ‘work from anywhere.’
As the desire and ability to travel enters a new dimension, Australians are looking to find ways to extend their adventures, with 33% of respondents saying they plan to take a longer international trip than usual in 2022.
Athan Didaskalou, Co-founder of Jelly says, “What travel means to me now is self-discovery. Travel bookings with experiences and human connections built-in. In a world where you can work anywhere, the desire to break up the 9-5 zoom barrage is ever imminent. People crave more frequent moments of escape, with a change of perspective as well as location.
“Travel now is less about seeing the world solo, but about doing new things together with others experiencing it for the first time too. A layer on top of the booking. This makes me feel hungry for togetherness. Opting into new places with new people will be what fuels travel bookings and experiences moving forward.
“There’s no doubt travel is absolutely back. The US is open; South Pacific is opening, Asia is opening, and Australians can’t wait to experience travel again. We had the busiest month in Luxury Escapes’ history with the announcement of Fiji Bubble and removal of quarantine in NSW and Victoria and are super excited about the next year and creating unforgettable experiences for millions of Luxury Escapes members around the world,” explains Adam Schwab, Co-Founder and CEO Luxury Escapes.
Schwab continues, “The pandemic meant people around the world became insular, changing focus inwards. This meant for most of us; we didn’t think about the impact border closures have had on so many people around the world. Our great friends and neighbours in Fiji, Thailand, and Indonesia have been especially hard hit, so depend on Australian tourism. We can’t wait to travel again to see old friends and make a real difference to people’s lives.”
There haven’t been many good things that came from the pandemic, but if there’s one small silver lining, we now all appreciate travel in a completely different light. Not being able to see the world for two years has made us all appreciate just how important travel is.”
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