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Travel was one of the first industries to be affected by COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, the industry has been on a roller coaster ride with waves of new variants, resulting in a lot of uncertainties as to when we would travel as we previously did.

However, despite the challenges of the past two years, our love for travel has never wavered. In fact, the desire to explore our world – where we can, when we can – may have grown stronger. As an industry, we must continue to be resilient and agile, able to adapt to the changes that come our way. As we move into 2022, here are five ways to redefine travel:

We will strongly adopt the technology

A recent Booking.com study finds 76% of Indian travelers say technology helps alleviate travel anxiety as predictive technologies continue to help travelers make informed decisions. In the coming year, travelers will not only seek the support of technology to alleviate the complexities of travel, but will use it to further enhance their experience. The use of predictive technologies can add an element of ‘surprise’ to enable a whole new travel experience suggested based on past preferences or travelers’ budget. It can help them embrace unpredictability in a safe and exciting way.

We will make the most of the unpredictability

As we have all lived through a pandemic for nearly two years, travelers will become increasingly familiar with, and perhaps come to terms with, the unpredictability. Rather than “staying completely” on a trip, people will be looking for ways to explore the world in safety.

Vacation time itself will be strictly without work

People around the world have been locked in for months – months of stress, uncertainty, mental health issues, and months of adjusting to change. It is not surprising that now many are trying to reclaim what is rightfully theirs – freedom of movement, peace, satisfaction and a sense of normalcy. In 2021, we saw how much of a priority work is, because “working from home” means “working from anywhere”. However, over the next year or so, we will see a significant increase in the number of people wanting to take back control so that they can rebalance work and life. As evidenced by this, 77% of Indian travelers in the recent poll revealed that they would not mention work while on vacation in the future.

Appreciation of local experiences and community connection

Whether it’s a road trip to nearby hills or a family vacation to a neighboring state’s national park, shifting consumer preferences from international to domestic destinations has resulted in a rebound in l industry in recent months as restrictions have eased. As many benefit from being closer to home, they have become more connected to the community and have supported local businesses. Enthusiasm for supporting local communities and appreciating local experiences will continue to gain momentum in 2022, as travelers increasingly realize the importance of leaving a positive impact on people, communities and communities. the planet.

“Marketing for good” is the way to go

Data-driven marketing tactics are becoming more and more common in a rapidly changing market, as technology is increasingly integrated into personal travel experiences. Marketers, more than ever, need to reestablish positive brand values ​​and thoughtful narratives – not only to make people dream of travel – but to do so in meaningful ways. Inspiring unique ways to explore our world that is beneficial and sustainable in the long term, engaging local communities with positive social impact and thinking outside the box to lesser-known and less touristy destinations are some of the ways that specialists in marketers can leverage “marketing for the right approach in the years to come.”

Will 2022 be a better year? It is certainly to be guessed and it remains to be seen. But what’s important is our growing resilience as a country and as an industry, as we all learn to coexist with a pandemic, ride the waves of change as they arise, and profit to the full. security of the new, more meaningful and valuable experiences that our world must have. to offer.

– Author Ritu Mehrotra is the South Asia regional manager at Booking.com. The opinions expressed are personal.

(Edited by : Priyanka Deshpande)

First publication: STI


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