Whilst the rules and restrictions for travel continue to cause confusion as we head into the New Year, the good news is that almost all of us will not let them halt our holiday plans for 2022.
The latest data from travel specialist Holiday Extras shows that 85% of people who haven’t flown since 2019 intend to take an international trip next year; with the number rising to 90% of the 2019 holiday market flying next year when those who have flown throughout the pandemic are taken into account.
The research found that the biggest obstacle to travel won’t be the pandemic itself but the unpredictable changes to the travel rules and the hassle that come with them (57%), meaning that whether people go on holiday in 2022 depends directly on how governments – especially the UK government – choose to respond; rules need to be consistent, straightforward and unintrusive.
Indeed, the public’s preference for simple travel rules is reflected in Holiday Extras’ analysis of the top destinations for 2022.
Travellers are looking to spend more and have bigger adventures in 2022, partly due to saving money in lockdown and also to make up for the lost time. Mexico is proving popular among families (bookings up 56% since 2019) – by staying open without restrictions throughout most of the pandemic, it has seen floods of new visitors. Egypt has multiple centennial celebrations in 2022, and with bookings up 2000% since 2019, visitors can enjoy the reliable sun and some of the world’s top cultural artifacts.
The research also shows that Brits will be heading to the periphery of the Schengen Zone to escape the extra queues, time limits, and paperwork created by Brexit. Just three hours from London, with no significant Covid restrictions and outside the UK, Albania is up 62% on bookings. Kerry in Ireland is another (up 22%) benefiting from the Common Travel Area rules that predate Brexit to give Brits free passage in and out of Ireland. Other winners expected from the Schengen rules in 2022 are Croatia, Iceland, and Turkey.
Finally, the biggest winner of all in 2022 is expected to be Turkey. Just outside of the EU with very similar resorts to Greece, the Turkish Riviera, especially Antalya is up 93% on bookings since 2019. Turkey is likely to be even more popular in 2022 as the Turkish Lira has fallen almost 80% against the pound since 2019, making holidays around half the price than they were three years ago.
Seamus McCauley at Holiday Extras, said: “As we head into the new year, our research shows just how high the appetite to travel is – and how many of us plan on getting away somewhere within the next 12 months. After a year of even more confusing and hassle rules and restrictions, it’s no wonder travellers are yearning for simple rules, which is reflected in our analysis on where’s likely to be top of the bucket list in 2022.”