2022 predicted to be ‘year of the big family get-together’

Next year will be the year of the ‘BFG’ –  or the ‘Big Family Get-together’ – predicts Black Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant.

He told delegates at Abta’s travel trends conference on Wednesday (November 24) that 55% of the company’s bookings were for family groups.

“Families are getting together for spectacular holidays around the world as they are reconnecting,” he told the hybrid event in London.

“There is a real emotional need to get together; they have been apart for 18 months.”

More: Trade appeals to cruise lines to review child vaccination policies

‘Catch-up consumer’ is key 2022 travel trend

To adapt to this trend, Black Tomato has developed holidays based on classic children’s literature, and ‘field trips’, which offer educational experiences that can be incorporated into family getaways.

He also pointed to other trends, such as groups of friends booking holidays together, and a desire to see cities such as New York, London and Paris as they emerge from the “cocoon” of the pandemic.

Brian Young, EMEA managing director of G Adventures, told the conference that research showed younger travellers, in the 18-34 age group, were the keenest to travel but because they were among the last to be vaccinated, 70% have not booked a trip yet.

“This is a huge opportunity for those looking to tap into the youth travel market,” he said.

He agreed with Marchant that holidaymakers “crave reconnection” on their overseas trips.

This is particularly important for younger travellers who have been confined to their bedrooms for studying or work during lockdown, so group tours can offer great value and a chance to get off the beaten track.

Karen Sequeira, marketing director for the UK, Ireland, Israel, Middle East and Africa for cruise line NCL, has also seen customers booking “more exotic and longer itineraries” to make up for lost time.

They are choosing more “opulence and indulgence” as they have a “we deserve it attitude”, so private enclaves such as NCL’s Haven are in greater demand, especially from families.

Cat Jordan, Travelzoo’s communications director, said the over-50s market is keen to see specific destinations and want reassurance about Covid-19 protocols, forms and hygiene factors.

More: Trade appeals to cruise lines to review child vaccination policies

‘Catch-up consumer’ is key 2022 travel trend

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