24 Nov

2022 will be the year of travel’s ‘catch-up consumer’

  • One in two say holidays are more important to them than before the pandemic
  • ABTA’s new report Travel in 2022 predicts holiday trends for the next year

ABTA – The Travel Association expects the ‘catch-up consumer’ to emerge in 2022, as almost half (49%) of people say that the limited opportunities to travel due of the pandemic have made their holidays more important to them than beforei.

And with 46% expecting to spend more money on their holidays next year, up from 29% in 2020, a significant proportion of people are keen to make holidays a priority in the year aheadii

Backed up by booking trends from ABTA Members, these ‘catch-up consumers’ are making up for the trips and experiences they’ve missed out on by treating themselves on their next breaks, with customers choosing to upgrade their accommodation, book longer stays or head to more expensive destinations altogether. 

While popular destinations for next year include holiday favourites like Spain, the US, France, Italy and Greece, bucket list locations like the Caribbean and the Maldives are rising in popularity too.

ABTA’s new report, Travel in 2022, also predicts that increasing numbers of holidaymakers will be relying on the expertise of travel professionals and the security of package holidays to book these long-awaited trips, as they navigate changing travel requirements at home and overseas. 

The association’s latest research shows people are 30% more likely to book with a travel professional now than before the pandemic, primarily for their guidance with Coronavirus travel requirements (47%) and the security of a package holiday (46%). They are also 27% more likely to book a package holiday, with 39% citing financial protection as the main reason, followed by having everything taken care of for them (37%)iii.

With 61% of people saying they plan to go abroad in the next 12 months, ABTA says consumer confidence in overseas holidays is on the riseiv.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said:

“Foreign holidays have always been a chance to escape the stresses of day-to-day life, enjoy new experiences and create memories that last a lifetime, so it’s understandable why ‘catching up’ on these missed experiences is coming through so strongly as a trend for next year. 

“It also follows that, as holidays have taken on this increased importance, holidaymakers want the added reassurance of booking a package holiday with a travel professional. There have been a lot of changes in travel over the past 18 months, so knowing an expert is there to help everything go as smoothly as possible – and adding the safety net of a package holiday – is definitely helping people to feel more confident to catch up on what they have missed. 

Holidaymakers can book with confidence through an ABTA Member and are encouraged to check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice where they can also sign up to receive email alerts.

More about ABTA’s Travel in 2022 report

ABTA’s travel trends for 2022:

  1. The catch-up consumer – holidaymakers will make up for the trips they’ve missed out on by upgrading elements of their next holiday or opting for a bucket list destination
  2. The new age of the expert – people are more likely to book with a travel professional next year as they seek out expert help and advice with travel requirements
  3. Seacations spark a ‘new-to-cruise’ craze – cruises are set to reach new heights of popularity in 2022 due to seacations boosting the new-to-cruise market
  4. The package is king – holidaymakers will book more package holidays in the year ahead, for the added protection and peace of mind that comes with this booking
  5. Travel for reconnection – holidays that allow us to reconnect with the important people in our lives are expected to be popular next year

The report also includes a spotlight on sustainability which highlights two trends for next year: 

  1. Sustainable accommodation goes mainstream – holidaymakers can expect to find more accommodation, of all shapes and sizes, that is operating responsibly next year 
  2. Nurturing nature – ‘nature positive’ holidays, which actively benefit local ecosystems and leave the lightest carbon footprint possible, will become more widespread 

Full details of the trends can be found in the report at www.abta.com/travelin2022.

Notes to editors

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 70 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence. 

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members. 

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA has around 4,000 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the UK public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com. 

iABTA’s Holiday Habits research for 2021 was conducted in the last two weeks of August 2021 by The Nursery Research and Planning (www.the-nursery.net/) with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to July 2021.
iiABTA’s Holiday Habits research for 2021, as above.
iiiABTA consumer sentiment research conducted by The Nursery Research and Planning (www.the-nursery.net/) in October 2021, with a nationally representative sample of 500 consumers.
ivABTA’s Holiday Habits research for 2021, as above.