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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Five Trends That Will Shape International Travel in 2022

International travel has changed for good in the post-pandemic world. In 2022 and beyond, holidaying abroad is less about resort stays and transit-intensive mini-breaks, and more about mindful travel built on human connection and an assurance that a good portion of the money spent directly benefits the host communities.

In partnership with small-group adventure operator G Adventures, here are five trends that will shape your wanderlust now and in the future – and a dream trip that can help you experience each.

Community tourism will be the top way to travel responsibly
According to G Adventures’ latest research, almost 30 per cent of travelers will now carry the pandemic-led focus on community and supporting local businesses into their international travel plans.

And tour operators are stepping up to the plate. In April, G Adventures will launch its Highlights of the Trans Bhutan Trail. The trail follows a historic and sacred route across the kingdom of Bhutan that’s set to reopen to travelers for the first time in six decades, after an extensive two-year restoration.

“Trail adventures are an especially great way to travel responsibly,” says Sean Martin, managing director at G Adventures APAC. “Our trails pass through multiple small villages, enabling people to spread their wealth.”

This 12-day tour is a rare opportunity to visit a relatively untravelled part of the world.

Workations will increase in popularity
Among many other things, the pandemic illustrated that some of us don’t need to go to a physical workplace to do our jobs.

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It means the “workation” has finally gone mainstream. 20 per cent of Adventures recently surveyed by G Adventures said they can work from anywhere, with that figure rising to 46 per cent among 18- 34-year-olds.

Created with these travelers in mind is the company’s Costa Rica: Beaches, Wildlife and Wild Times trip. “Costa Rica has created a remote work and digital nomad visa that allows people to come for year and work remotely,” Martin says. “This is a ‘Roamies’ trip – one that uses hostels as a base, ensuring people have a place to work, with decent wi-fi, but also places to explore, connect and spend time together.”

Hostels are back in vogue
Speaking of hostels, another trend revealed in recent G Adventures’ surveys? That 63 per cent of aged 18 to 34 are keen to stay in hostels postpandemic, experiencing locally run accommodation and social connection with like-minded travellers.

G Adventures has created trips to suit, such as the Yucatan Adventure: Merida, Tulum & Jungle Swims social adventure, which takes Roamies around the Mexican peninsula with promises of social and community connection, with travelers staying in hand-picked, first-class hostels as they go.

Travelers will splash more cash
All those lockdowns have contributed to the accumulation of some significant Australian nest eggs.

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“Household savings are currently at an all-time high,” Martin says. “People haven’t been able to spend on the lifelong memories that travel creates, so we’re now seeing a lot of demand for bucket-list type experiences. Many people can now up their budgets and have experiences that previously seemed unavailable.”

G Adventures’ 12-day Iconic Japan trip is the kind of tour G Adventures is anticipating travelers will spend a bit more to experience. One of the tour operator’s National Geographic Journeys, it takes travelers from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes upgraded accommodation, travel by bullet train, a hands-on gold leaf painting experience, and geisha-district, shrine and ninja-temple visits – all balanced with plenty of free time.

Supporting locals is now a high priority
Community-focused travelers want their money to benefit locals.

G Adventures calculates this across its own business activities with its Ripple Score, which quantifies the percentage of a trip’s overall spend that flows back into the destination. An example of a high-scoring trip is its 14-day Highlights of Egypt tour, which digs deep into the riches of Egypt’s geography, culture and archaeology from Alexandria and Cairo in the north to Aswan in the south.

Like all G Adventures trips, it maximizes community connection by using locals as guides and supporting locally owned businesses wherever possible.

This story was produced by Broadsheet in partnership with G Adventures.

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