Travelling comes in lots of different kinds and sizes. For some, it’s all about thrill-seeking adventures. For others, there’s nothing like a low-cost backpacking vacation. And for a happy few, it all can’t be luxurious enough. Travel agency Virtuoso clearly focuses on the latter. With 1.200 travel agency locations all over the world and almost twenty times as many travel advisers, the by-invitation-only organisation caters to the luxury and experiential traveller. So now that the pandemic is coming to an end, they’re in the ideal position to point out 2022’s luxury travel trends. Better have your credit card ready.
As we said, the pandemic is more or less coming to an end after two solid years of fear, travel restrictions and everything that comes with it. With borders all over the world opening up again and people being less afraid of getting contaminated, luxury travel is on the rise.
We are still seeing that interest in travel and intent to travel is incredibly strong and the appetite for international travel is huge right now. The only fear about the virus is the fear of getting stuck – if travellers have already had Omicron, they view now as the optimum time to travel. It alleviates a lot of the concern about being stuck in a destination.Misty Belles, Vice President of Global Public Relations for Virtuoso, tells Forbes
1. The anti-body window
Caught Covid-19 anyway, despite all the vaccines and precautions? Make the most out of it. Virtuoso notices more and more people are getting use out of their anti-body window, the period of time just after they’ve been ill. Risks of catching the virus again are minimal and most countries accept a proof of recovery as an alternative health-pass.
2. Bucket list trips
After being at home for so long, there’s clearly a lust to get exploring again. Many luxury travellers have been able to save up during the pandemic, meaning – according to Virtuoso – that 2022 will be the year of the once-in-a-lifetime trips. Think African safaris and Caribbean beach holidays. Or why not Antarctica? Africa, Antarctica, Australia and Alaska are having a big moment, due to a few different reasons. They’re out of the ordinary and finally opening their borders again.
3. Organisation is key
So, what else? Because of the complications, such as Covid-19 tests, still involved with international travel, we like to hire a travel adviser to make things easier when it comes to organising that special trip. They take care of everything and make sure you – as a luxury traveller – can relax from start to ending. The number of travellers seeking the help of a Virtuoso travel adviser grew 50% last year compared to 2020.
4. The whole family
Another Covid-related consequence is multi-generational travel – nothing like coming together with the whole family after years of restrictions. Older generations in particular have been living quite isolated these last years in order to protect themselves so this is the moment to reconnect with children and grandchildren. Especially if there’s something to celebrate.
5. Sustainable tourism
Last but not least, it seems like the pandemic has made us more aware of the impact of travel on our planet. Virtuoso calls it a “conscious comeback”. In a survey, 82 percent of travellers indicate they’d like to travel more consciously in the future and they therefore find it important to choose their travel company carefully. Protecting the planet, supporting local economies and celebrating cultures seem to be the main aims of travelling in a more eco-conscious way. Or how a global crisis could somehow have a positive outcome.