Travel Marketing Trends in 2022: The Mindset of Today’s Traveler

Have you ever wished you could see inside the mind of your target audience and craft messages that align with the way they think? We understand – that’s why we’ve compiled data from across the travel and tourism industry so you can have a high-level view of where the industry is headed and what travelers are looking for as they venture out after the pandemic. Keep reading to learn more about the latest trends and how you can use them to your destination’s advantage. 

Travel Marketing Trends 2022

Who is Most Likely to Travel?

Short answer: everyone. However, there may be a difference in the types of trips different demographics are taking. With COVID-19 no longer acting a barrier for most people’s desire to travel, Gen Z and millennials have reportedly planned about four to five trips in the next year. While younger generations plan on taking more frequent trips, boomers and Gen Xers are expected to spend the most on their trips, with travel expenses averaging over $1,000. No matter which age group your destination appeals to, there is a market for travelers of all walks of life who are looking to make up for lost time. 

Post-Pandemic Travel Set to Reach New Heights

People are ready for a change of scenery. Looking to expand their horizons and finally take the trips they always said they’d go on if they had the chance, we’re seeing an influx of travelers who are willing to spend as much or more on travel in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic averages. 

In addition, research shows that 40% of U.S. travelers are more willing to treat themselves this year as they go on what is now referred to as a “splurge-cation.” While there was a time when it looked like the travel and tourism industry would take years to recover, this quick shift back into normal travel patterns is giving destinations the opportunity to recover any losses and bounce back for a more profitable future. 

How do you become one of these locations? It’s all about branding yourself as a dream destination. Over half of surveyed millennials said they would be willing to travel solo if it means going somewhere they’ve always wanted to go. Domestic destinations can capture the attention of their target audience by tailoring their message to promote themselves as not only a place with great features, but also as a one-of-a-kind experience. Keep reading to learn more about the rising interest in stateside vacations. 

Travelers Seek Hidden Gems

You may assume people only dream about crossing an ocean to get to their top vacation spots, but one unexpected result of the pandemic was an emerging desire to go to domestic destinations. When asked, over half of travelers said they have a renewed appreciation for travel destinations a little closer to home. 

With this shift, smaller scale vacation spots are becoming hubs for tourism as travelers look for an escape from the mundane. Your destination has the chance to connect with this audience by advertising the aspects of your area that make it so unique. Potential visitors need to know that when they book, they’re getting an experience they won’t find anywhere else. Whether it’s a local brewery or breathtaking scenic views, elevate the hidden gems that make your destination shine so you can stand apart from the pack. 

Travelers Want Fully Immersive Experiences

No one wants to feel like an outsider looking in — travelers want to fully immerse themselves in the local culture of wherever they visit, whether that’s a small county in Florida or a coastal community in Hawaii. When asked, 81% of people said they crave authentic experiences that come from meeting and learning from locals. Tourists want to experiment with local foods and check out the live entertainment options so they can feel like they are getting to know the real character of a destination. 

Trips for the Whole Family

Now more than ever, people are looking to connect. When trip planning, travelers are looking for cribs, connecting rooms, childcare options and more to accommodate their extended family. As people travel more with relatives, they need a wider range of options so their trip itinerary can have something for everyone to enjoy. When surveyed, 84% of people agree they like to visit destinations that have access to more than one scene like the beach, city and countryside. As you craft your marketing strategy, highlight the different scenes that come together to create your one-of-a-kind destination so potential visitors can see all you have to offer before they book.

While predicting the travel trends of 2022 can sometimes feel like you’re trying to read minds, if you position your destination using these helpful takeaways from recent research, your peak tourist season can be all year long. If you understand what your target audience wants to see, but don’t know how to get your message in front of them, check out our blog on TikTok destination marketing to learn how to reach Gen Z.