Joe McClain - Jan 31, 2022
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Away from mass tourism towards more individuality and flexibility. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world of tourism, and this is also evident from the travel trends of Germans for this year.

New year, new travel plans. At the start of a new year, good intentions are traditionally accompanied by holiday wishes. Although 2022 started with some restrictions due to the pandemic, the Germans’ desire to travel in 2022 is not broken.

The needs of holidaymakers have changed during the pandemic. The times of package tourism and long-distance travel are over for the time being. Travel in 2022 promises destinations and types of vacation with sustainable, individual, and flexible relaxation, primarily in Germany and Europe.

Germans Want to Travel

According to experts, the desire to travel again is at a high level of 61 %, compared to 51 % last year. In line with the need to catch up on travel in 2022, the factors of time (72 %) and money (70 %) are less relevant than they have been since 2013.

Despite these excellent conditions, lower demand can be expected this year compared to the pre-pandemic levels in 2019. This is caused by the fact that high interest does not automatically lead to a corresponding demand.

Germans are currently still reluctant, with only 11% having already booked a trip. The uncertainty of the changing regulations means that many people wait and see before planning and booking their trip.  

Overall, 60 million holiday trips by Germans are expected in 2022. That corresponds to around ten million more than in 2020, but also eleven million fewer than in 2019. Compared to 2020/2021, this still means a step towards normality – to the situation before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Germany and Europe as Travel Destinations

Germany was and remains the favorite travel destination of German travelers. In 2021, most people spent their holidays in their own country. And this trend will probably prevail in 2022 as well.

According to experts, a large part of traveling this year will again take place in Germany and Europe, and the proportion of air travel will again be lower than before the pandemic.

According to a Statista survey last year, the Baltic Sea took first place among the most popular travel destinations for Germans, followed by Austria and Spain. Even before the pandemic, domestic holidays were popular, but the pandemic has further intensified this trend.

Individual Travel Instead of Package Tours

Travel in 2022 will increasingly move away from package tourism and towards individual travel experiences. That means fewer cruises and less all-inclusive vacations.

Instead, according to forecasts, Germans will prefer to spend their holidays' camping, in holiday homes and in individually booked hotels.

Another trend includes discovering countries that have so far been spared from mass tourism and have not yet been so well known or explored. For example, Slovenia, Georgia, Romania, Mongolia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Cape Verde are currently considered. Here, travelers move off the beaten track and thus experience the country and its people more authentically.

Destinations in Nature

Many Germans would like to travel this year to destinations with the opportunity to spend time in nature. Be it on the beach and sea, on an outdoor trip or on a farm holiday. The longing for the summer and sun is most evident this year.

Experts predict that destinations in the Mediterranean will recover from the Covid-19 slump. Spain is at the top of those countries, followed by Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

Moreover, camping holidays, which are considered low-contact and have been particularly popular throughout the pandemic, are also making new friends. Never before have so many people in Germany been interested in vacationing in a mobile home (15 %) or in a caravan (12 %).

Deceleration and Mindfulness

After almost two turbulent years with a high level of stress, the majority of Germans plan to slow down.

This is probably not surprising and complies with a recent survey in which most of the travelers said that vacations help their mental and emotional well-being more than other forms of self-care.

Also, 73 % of Germans say that their vacation time will be work-free in the future. Above all, traveling serves one's own well-being and inner balance - be it in a wellness temple or in a lonely hut in the mountains.

Last Minute Vacation or Spontaneous Trips

The pandemic shows us every day how quickly plans can change. Many people have had to change their vacation plans in the past two years.

Cancellations, rebookings and the selection of other destinations due to constantly new restrictions at the originally desired holiday destination have become a new routine.

Uncertainties will remain for travel in 2022. Thus, at the beginning of the year, Germans are still unsure whether and when they should book their next trip - and are waiting.

Travel experts expect only a few trips planned well in advance this year. Rather, the focus is on last-minute trips or spontaneous trips. If you book your vacation at short notice, you have fewer choices than the early booker, but you can react better to the current developments.

Another important trend is flexibility and spontaneity even after booking: free cancellations or rebookings provide additional security if the Covid-19 situation requires it.

Sustainable Travel

The awareness that certain journeys are ecologically a catastrophe due to their enormous CO₂ footprint is increasingly causing travelers to rethink their travel habits.

Sustainable tourism is therefore one of the trends for travel in 2022. Tourists are increasingly making sure that their ecological footprint is as small as possible despite being on vacation.

For example, through domestic instead of long-distance travel, the choice of transport, ecological accommodation and environmentally-friendly leisure activities. Sustainable behavior at the holiday destination is also promoted by avoiding plastic, shopping at local markets and supporting local activities.

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