Brian Young, managing director, EMEA at G Adventures, predicts the hottest trends in adventure travel for 2022
Coming out of this pandemic, people are looking for reconnection with other people. We launched a product called Roamies last week with Hostelworld, which is perfect for young travellers looking for connection. We know from our recent survey that 36 per cent of travellers between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely or very likely to visit a hostel. And the things they’re looking for are social reconnection. A third of the world’s adults reported feeling lonely in 2021 and there’s no better antidote to loneliness than reconnecting with likeminded people on a group tour.
People are aware of travelling responsibly and sustainably. All the surveys being done are showing that people want to know that sustainability is at the top of the agenda. The adventure sector is well placed to support local communities and independent businesses in destinations. We have a ripple score online and in our brochure, so the customer can see how much of their money is staying in the local community from their tour. The score is out of 100, and most of our tours score above 90.
Adventure travel lends itself to this perfectly. People have been stuck on Zoom, Teams, you name it, and they’re burnt out. Their only form of connection has been through their screens and they’re desperate to get back in touch with reality. Fifty-three per cent of Brits want to take time out from their devices and social media – and meeting new people is top of their wellbeing priorities.
People’s propensity to travel is high, but they’re more likely to go closer to home. So Europe is really popular, although we’re seeing strong bookings in Asia and South America as these regions reopen, especially with the younger demographic.
Young people want to go overseas, work from that destination and go on shorter tours from there to have adventure experiences. The workplace has changed, and we’re going to see this big trend among the younger generation where people will spend some a longer time in a destination and reap the benefit, by getting under the skin of a destination. Costa Rica is an example of a country that has really opened up to this concept – they’re offering year-long visas for digital nomads.
People want to get out and challenge themselves. Most people have done a bit more fitness and walking in the last 18 months. And people don’t just want a bog-standard holiday anymore, they want to get away and really immerse themselves in experiences. Bucket-list items like Mount Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp have been right at the top of our search list. Those achievement-based tours – people have been putting them off for years, and now they realise how special travel is and they’re deciding to just go and do it.