Escapism, relaxation and new destinations: Travel aspirations and priorities in 2022
May 3rd, 2022, Hoang Nguyen

Escapism, relaxation and new destinations: Travel aspirations and priorities in 2022

There’s been plenty of uncertainty around travel over the last two years and just as a rebound for the travel sector looked underway for 2022, inflation of goods and increased costs of living around the world may make it even harder to predict the travel trends that will shape the industry.

There's plenty of pent-up demand for travel, however; the latest data from YouGov’s Global Travel Profiles—which measures and tracks travel sentiment in 25countries on a daily basis—shows that in April, 52% of global consumers plan to take a domestic trip and 20% plan to go abroad in the next 12 months.

Understanding the types of travel experiences people prioritize in the lead up to spring and summer travel can help travel companies and destinations keep up with the pace of the world and ever-evolving mindsets. Let’s dive into a few key travel themes this year.

Escapism: Taking a break from routines

YouGov polled 13,375 consumers in eight key markets across the world on what they are looking for in their next vacation. The top travel motivator is simple: 52% of all global consumers say they need to get away from home.

The need to escape from routine and home life is strongest in France (61%), the UK (59%) and Australia (56%), with close to three in five consumers in each market saying listing this as their top travel motivator. These countries have had some of the most stringent travel rules in the world which may contribute to the desire for escape.

While fewer Indonesian and Indian consumers are motivated by a need to get away when compared to other countries, a strong 43% of consumers in each market choose this as a reason for why they’ll travel. This reinforces just how powerful of a role escapism plays in travel motivations this year.

Wellness tourism: Retreating to relax and rejuvenate

One silver lining of the Covid-19 pandemic is the increased consumer focus on well-being. As more consumers incorporate wellness into their lifestyles, it’s no wonder that they’re looking to infuse wellness into their travel experiences.

Data from the YouGov poll reveals that 45% of global consumers are looking for space for relaxation and well-being in their next travel destination—the second most popular travel motivator behind the need to get away.

This demand for wellness tourism is especially high among consumers in Germany and the Philippines, with 54% of each market indicating that are looking for opportunities to relax and improve their well-being in their next travel destination.

Wellness is also a strong motivator among roughly two in five Americans (39%) and Australians (38%) alike, with the trend driven by younger consumers in both markets.

Bucket list travel: Chasing dream destinations

Another key theme shaping the travel industry this year will be the desire to visit new destinations. Close to two in five (38%) global consumers indicate they’ll be seeking new travel destinations, especially people in the Philippines (52%), France (49%), and Indonesia (47%). This is less likely to be the case in the UK (30%) and Germany (23%).

Of course, there are several other factors to motivating people to travel, including wanting a sense of adventure (33% of global consumers say this is what they’re looking for in their next destination) as well as the desire to broaden their horizons (23%).

People will also be looking to travel for people—not just places—during their next trip. The need to reconnect with loved ones and share experiences with friends is a strong travel motivator, with a quarter (24%) of global consumers wanting this from their next vacation. Traveling for friends and family is particularly prevalent amongst consumers over the age of 55.

Digging to the root of which types of experiences potential travelers are interested in can help brands monitor specific audiences and respond with the right messaging to inspire people to travel.