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Tuesday 9 November 2021

How the pandemic has forever changed travel

The global Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way people think about travel, a new report from the Hilton Hotels group reveals.

The 2022 Traveller: Emerging Trends and the Redefined Traveller, a Report from Hilton describes how over two years people’s lives were dramatically altered and radically changed.

As a company that has welcomed over three billion guests in its more than 100-year history, Hilton showcases within the report how it is evolving alongside the changing traveller.

“The world – and the hospitality industry – went through so much in the last two years - and as we’ve uncovered in this report, travellers’ needs and interests have shifted too,” said Chris Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton.

“At Hilton, we’ve been incredibly focused on delivering the experiences our guests are looking for, through every up and down we’ve faced. As we look to the future, I am optimistic about what lies ahead – travel is certainly returning, and we’re excited to build on that momentum.”

The Report highlights dozens of eye-opening travel and behavioural trends that are leading to innovations both inside and outside of the hotel industry.

While each trend details specific insights and data driving change, four consistent themes emerged that summarize the new, pandemic-changed traveller:

# Amid Chaos, People Found Efficiencies – And Will Be Looking for the Same in Travel: People have embraced efficiencies in many aspects of life and will be looking for similar conveniences in their travels, like contactless check-in and check-out and digital keys.

# Overall Focus on Wellness Will Span Beyond the Gym: With a reimagined workplace and new routines and habits in place, travellers will be looking for more grounding and balance in their travel schedules.

# New and Existing Passions and More Refined Tastes and Preferences: New and refreshed hobbies are leading to a more informed, sophisticated, and, in some cases, in-shape 2022 traveller. People are anticipated to pack their passions, driving demand for new trends in fitness, culinary options and unique travel experiences.

# A New Sense of Caring Has Emerged - And Is Expected to Strengthen: The pandemic separated families and friends, which is leading to a prioritisation of reunion and reconnection travel in 2022. Beyond their inner circles, travellers are expected to care more about sustainability and community efforts – and are looking to remain loyal to brands, companies and organizations that align with their values.

“The pandemic’s impact on the travel industry has been well documented, however, it is equally important to recognize the psychological impact the pandemic had, and will continue to have, on travellers for years to come,” said Dr Kate Cummins, a clinical psychologist who recognises travel as an important component of mental well-being.

“The traveller may have changed, but the benefit of travel remains the same - increased emotional health and wellness, and after a tough two years, that’s something we all need.”


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