From mental health improvement to a greater appreciation of time off work, new research from Expedia Group reveals shifts in traveller sentiment and behaviour for the year ahead. Jenny Southan reports

Expedia Group‘s Traveller Value Index: 2022 Outlook is based on a new study conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research among 5,500 adults across eight countries, combined with Expedia Brands proprietary data.

The findings suggest that after two years of enduring a global pandemic, people value travel and personal time more than ever. Simultaneously, travellers have started to adapt to the realities of Covid19, ranking flexible travel at the top of their priorities and focusing more on travelling for good.

Ariane Gorin, president of Expedia for Business, says: “Travel is about to experience a year unlike ever before as people plan purposedriven trips, value vacation time more, and up their investment in unique experiences.

“Still, travellers are preparing themselves for possible trip changes as Covid19 persists, and they want an array of options at their fingertips. Travel companies that prioritize safety and wellbeing, innovative solutions, and transparent communication will be the clear leaders as the entire industry shifts from survival mode into accelerated demand and growth.

Here are the key findings…

According to research from Expedia Group, almost half of all UK travellers (42%) are searching for a vacation that will boost their mental health after the stress of the pandemic.

Compared to preCovid, 84% of US families have a greater appreciation for vacation time and 77% have a greater appreciation for separating professional and personal life.

Nearly three in five workers say they are more likely to take a two-week vacation in 2022, and more than a third would trade a salary increase for more time off to travel.

Most people (81%) plan to take at least one vacation with family and friends in the next six months, and the majority are seeking quick doses of adventure, with more than three quarters (78%) expressing an interest in frequent short trips.

Meanwhile, as companies prepare to return to the office and evolve remote work policies, employees are looking to make greater use of their vacation time, and in some cases, combine work and play. More than half (56%) of those who often work remotely will take a “bleisure” style trip extending a work trip for leisure, or vice versa.

Investment in travel will boom compared to prepandemic. More than half (54%) of respondents say they plan to spend more on trips than they did in 2019, and 40% plan to use loyalty points for at least part of a trip in 2022, with Gen Z in the lead.

That said, more than 80% of respondents agreed that discounted fees and flexible fare options are influential when booking a flight online.

People surveyed also said they plan to travel more responsibly and consciously, with an increased focus on sustainability. Over half of respondents (59%) said they were willing to pay more to make a trip sustainable, and 49% would choose a less crowded destination to reduce the effects of overtourism.

What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE