2022 holiday travel trends

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(Image: Supplied).
(Image: Supplied).
discovery, vitality, travel, south africa

Local and international travel continues to surge in 2022 as the world heads towards a version of “normal” travel writes Dinesh Govender, CEO of Discovery.

Looking at the year’s travel trends, the numbers paint a picture that includes exotic destinations, sunny beaches and holiday cheer.

It appears that globally, people are less jittery about travel after three years of disruption, and are making up for lost time and opportunity. Recent Vitality Travel data showed a 268% increase in air travel since 2019 this year. We also know that locally, up to 1,750 of our members are boarding planes daily.

Accommodation bookings in the first half of 2022 have well surpassed bookings in the same period in 2019. The European Office for Statistics, reports that accommodation bookings via Booking.com, Expedia, AirBnB and TripAdvisor are up by seven million nights booked this year, versus 2019. That’s nearly 200 million nights of stays booked this year, even through the ebbs and flows of Omicron and other variants of Covid-19.

So, where are people going?

The recent worldwide travel inspiration list revealed by Conde Nast Traveller includes Cape Town in SA, Piedmont in Italy, Maine in Portland in the US, Qatar and Istanbul, Turkey as some of the trendiest options for travellers to visit for the year.

Vitality Travel trends show similar popular destinations for the upcoming holidays, and that close to 300,000 flights have been booked on the travel platform since March. 

The top destinations for these travellers are:
  1. London
  2. Dubai
  3. Sydney
  4. Mauritius
  5. Geneva and
  6. Phuket.

Locally, Cape Town remains a popular destination for South Africans, too.

Travel costs remain inflated

When you insert the holiday season into the travel equation, flight prices are steep. We are definitely seeing a dearth in supply globally and this is pushing prices up. Predictions are that holiday airfares will be five times higher than at off-peak, including in South Africa where our travel industry is recovering from additional factors that have influenced reduced supply.  

There might be a science behind the best times to book flights. Booking in advance is an obvious way to reduce costs, as is booking on “odd” days – some studies say Wednesdays can be more expensive. A recent Google Flights analysis of five years of flights, accounting for pandemic upsets, found that “historically, it’s been cheaper to fly in the middle of the week than on the weekend – especially Sundays. On average, flights that depart on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday have been 12% cheaper than weekend departures”.

They also determined that booking 52 days in advance yields the cheapest deals (that’s right now for those who want to travel early next year, including for the Easter holidays).

Travellers are advised to book around the global peak week, between Christmas and New Year, as either side of these holidays are cheaper by 15% than in that week, according to Expedia. Then, consider alternate airports to the larger ones for international destinations (La Guardia versus JFK in New York and Gatwick versus Heathrow in London, for example). 

This post and content is sponsored, written and produced by Discovery.

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