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A new study found that travelers are ready to hit the road again after dealing with almost two years of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions and protocols.
According to a survey from the Expedia Group on tourism's outlook in 2022, people value travel and personal time more than ever, with 78 percent of respondents being most interested in taking frequent short trips.
Another 81 percent plan to take at least one vacation with family and friends in the next six months, while 54 percent said they plan to spend more money on trips than they did before the pandemic.
Loyalty points have been a major topic of discussion as companies carry them over into 2022, with 40 percent of travelers planning to use loyalty points for at least part of a trip this year. The data found Gen Z conserved the most loyalty points that could be used for travel.
Of the millennials and Gen Z survey respondents, around 50 percent said they're likely to travel internationally or already have an international trip booked. Older generations are still hesitant as the Omicron variant rages around the world.
"Travel is about to experience a year unlike ever before as people plan purpose-driven trips, value vacation time more, and up their investment in unique experiences," Expedia President Ariane Gorin said. "Still, travelers are preparing themselves for possible trip changes as COVID-19 persists, and they want an array of options at their fingertips."
"Travel companies that prioritize safety and wellbeing, innovative solutions, and transparent communication will be the clear leaders as the entire industry shifts from survival mode into accelerated demand and growth," Gorin continued.
Respondents rank flex travel at the top of their priorities and are focusing on more responsible and mindful travel. Over 80 percent say flexible fare options make a world of difference, while the Expedia study found sustainable trips will rise in popularity.
The study also found that 93 percent of travelers will adapt travel plans because of the current lack of workers in the tourism industry, and 43 percent will add in extra time for services and transit, helping to minimize long lines, stress on workers, and missed flights.
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Donald Wood is TravelPulse’s senior writer in the breaking news department, bringing nearly 15 years of experience to the desk....
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