Almost four in five UK residents intend to travel in 2022, according to research from hospitality group Accor.
The company’s Northern Europe Travel Trends Report also revealed respondents plan to spend 39% more on travel this year compared with 2019 and take an average of three trips throughout 2022.
The survey polled 2,000 individuals in the UK in late 2021 and again in mid-January 2022.
Beach holidays topped the list for travel plans, favoured by 31% of respondents, while city breaks were favoured by 28% of travellers.
Italy was identified as the number one destination for travellers from the UK, with 51% intending to travel within Europe. Of those looking to travel farther afield, 18% plan trips to North America and 13% to Southeast Asia.
Data also suggested travellers’ destination desires changed because of the impact of the Omicron variant. Research conducted pre-Omicron indicated 20% of travellers wanted “country escapes”. Post-Omicron, this figure increased by 7%.
The report highlighted an “increased awareness of sustainability” as a priority consideration for 84% of those surveyed.
Booking flexibility was reported as a ‘must-have’ in 2022, with 38% of those surveyed seeking flexibility on changes to bookings.
Karelle Lamouche, Accor Northern Europe chief commercial officer, said: “Covid has not dampened our desire for travel, it complicated the process. Even though one in five had to cancel or postpone a trip due to the Omicron variant, people are still committed to travelling and to spending 39% more than they did in 2019.
“Last year travel was spontaneous, often booked and taken within a few days. Now, post Omicron, people are planning and booking travel for the next three years. They have much to look forward to and make up for in 2022.”
Lamouche added: “It is clear that priorities have shifted in the last two years. Sustainability factors more than ever into the decisions people make. Work/life balance is no longer just a tag-line and travellers have a new awareness of the positive impact that travel has on their wellbeing. In fact, a staggering two thirds of us want to travel as a way of boosting our mental health.”
Meanwhile, Accor has announced a multi-year strategic partnership with car hire provider SIXT in the hope of increasing “global brand visibility” among business and leisure customers.
The deal will see customers earn Accor loyalty programme points for SIXT bookings.