Tourist desires and practices are becoming more refined as a year once again marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. At the heart of these behaviors: freedom, activity and locality.
Favor flexible vacations
Organizing your holidays in advance means in practice choosing the option of serenity. But in the time of Covid-19, the unforeseen is in order: border closures, cancellations of reservations, isolation measures … So many reasons that push a large number of French people to choose flexible travel. According to the Tourlane travel agency, 87% of them pay attention to the prices and flexibility of the conditions of their travel bookings. This behavior is likely to continue, as explained by Pascal Capellari, director of the Excelia tourism school, at Figaro : ” Seeking flexible fares is a growing behavior among travelers. Hoteliers are adapting by offering many cancellable offers “.
Launched before Covid-19, in February 2019, the ALL – Accor Live Limitless loyalty program, for example, offers an offer guaranteeing free cancellation up to the day of arrival. A reservation system even more appreciated by its customers since the implementation of health restriction measures around the world. Airbnb, which is very successful despite the pandemic, offers among its reservation filters a “free cancellation” button. Travelers tempted by this type of last minute reservation will benefit from this functionality of the American platform (“I am flexible”), allowing them to choose a stay according to the type of accommodation and no longer according to the date of arrival. .
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Separate leisure and work
While the year 2021 was synonymous with teleworking and “digital nomadism”, 2022 will be an opportunity for many French travelers to disconnect from work. The online booking site Booking.com has just published a study identifying travel trends which reveals that 68% of Internet users now prefer shorter vacations, but disconnected from work. The study also announces that these travelers seek above all a vacation promoting a “quality” rest (understand, without external disturbance). So, for a successful vacation, close the hatches.
Choose other modes of transport and roaming
Being in control of your trip aboard a vehicle offers many advantages: independence, choice of itinerary and change of scenery. So many arguments that have convinced many nomadic holidaymakers. No more dependence on public transport, endless waiting for a boarding lounge and overcrowded destinations.
A trend that is confirmed with the increase in the number of rental of converted vehicles, as explained by Benoît Panel, co-founder and CEO of Yescapa, rental company of motorhomes and vans between individuals, at Figaro : ” Vacationers have less and less desire to get on a plane with the Covid. They wish to have fun for a limited period. The van is one way to enjoy it: it is economically affordable, it allows to avoid the crowds and to take advantage of local tourism »He explains.
The opportunity to discover (or rediscover) many regions of France independently, such as Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, New Aquitaine or Brittany, destinations particularly popular with customers of this rental platform between individuals. After registering nearly 127,000 reservation requests from May to August 2021, the Bordeaux company expects further progress in 2022: ” Covid or not, demand is unlikely to stop. Last year, nearly 75% of French people said they were tempted by a roadtrip. It is a new tourist area that is developing », Describes Benoît Panel.
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Select less frequented destinations
What could be worse than to finally find yourself at your destination, only to discover that the place is the victim of tourist overcrowding? Impossible to make the most of your stay, unless the tourist sites themselves take restrictive measures? This will be the case for the first time in France in many places popular with holidaymakers in 2022: near Marseille, the Calanques National Park will set up daily gauges for tourists ranging from 200 to 300 people maximum from 2022. Ditto for the island of Porquerolles, which last summer did not tolerate more than 6,000 tourists per day on its soil.
Elsewhere in Europe, the island of Mallorca (Spain) will limit the number of cruise ships authorized to anchor around its waters from 2022 for five years. One way for these destinations to preserve their biodiversity and reduce the formation of Covid-19 clusters as much as possible, and an opportunity for tourists to breathe a bit.
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Switch to responsible tourism
After concern for the environment and biodiversity in 2021, respect for destinations and the local population comes into play in 2022. Booking reveals that 56% of French travelers surveyed wish ” live authentic experiences representative of the culture of their destination “. A trend which is also accompanied by respect for the environment and the traditions of local populations: ” This type of tourism is becoming a priority, especially among millennials. Nearly 71% of young French people want their money to benefit locals, in France and abroad »Specifies Pascal Capellari, citing the work of the researchers associated with Excelia.
New collaborative platforms are rushing into the breach. MakeYourTripBetter, created by Olivier Gibouin, 43, former financial director, directly connects travelers and residents “according to a system of mutual evaluation”. Greengo.travel, launched by a young polytechnician, Guillaume Jouffre, 29, wants to be an alternative to Booking and Airbnb, “with a quality offer, fair commissions and fair remuneration for hosts”. This service favors the local to the distant … And the train to the plane.
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Travel close to home
The escape is not subject to a kilometer requirement. At a time when exotic and distant destinations reign, we sometimes forget that it is possible to have fun near where you live. This alternative has a name: the staycation, English contraction of stay, stay, and vacation, holidays. A fashion born in the United States, resuscitated after the financial crisis of 2008 and by the need to save money on holidays. These projects made possible by online booking platforms such as Staycation, which literally takes its name from this practice, and offers stays with up to 70% off in beautiful establishments in Paris, Lyon or Bordeaux. “Beyond spending a night in a beautiful hotel, the goal is to offer a unique, immediate and turnkey experience»Explained its co-founder Mathieu Dugast to Figaro in 2019. Another way of traveling, favored by the French since the Covid in order to live their daily life in another way, for a moment apart.
Read the dossierFrance: the travel guide of Figaro
Promote “active” vacations
When traveling, well-being often involves physical activity. What could be better than combining holidays and sporting activities? According to Tourlane, this “active” style of travel is favored by nearly 17% of French people. Cycling, hiking or skiing … There is no shortage of ideas for activities, and neither is there any offers.
Almost twenty years after a first experience in travel, Decathlon is back in the tourism sector. Since July 2021, the leader in French sports equipment has been offering a digital platform, aimed above all at beginner athletes, called “Decathlon Travel”, which gives holidaymakers the possibility of choosing among many sports travel offers (such as kayaking, kitesurfing or diving) in France and abroad (Cape Verde, Cuba, Egypt …). “ Today it is a niche market that we want to make more accessible by selecting the best market offers in France, as well as internationally. », Explains Estelle Verdier, general manager of the subsidiary.
While Decathlon Travel has a travel agency agreement as well as an Atout France license, the company does not for the moment create its own trips but distributes already existing offers in line with the company’s DNA. And she is not alone on the track: a French start-up launched in October 2019, Move Your Trip, also offers sports and fitness trips to holidaymakers in calm and exotic places, such as Alpe. d’Huez (Isère) and Notre-Dame-de-Monts (Vendée). Ready ? Go!
“Revenge travel”, or the travel bulimia
The Covid-19 pandemic has undermined many travel and vacation plans abroad. The cascading cancellations, postponements of health measures and border closures have not, however, discouraged French travelers in their quest for a change of scenery: according to Tourlane, 75% of them consider themselves ready to travel in 2022. This phenomenon has a name: “revenge travel”. Born in Asia in 2020 in regions severely affected by Covid-19, it materialized in a very strong recovery in tourism activity, first at the local level, before its export elsewhere on the continent. In China, the authorities have encouraged their people to travel across the country in order to participate in the recovery of the economy. With us, this behavior is almost like bulimia: ” As soon as the French had a window, they rushed for anything that could get them out of their daily life between four walls »Explained Stanislas Gruau, founder of the adventure travel agency Explora Project, to Figaro early last year. Since then, the novelty has endured and is constantly fueled by fear of new health restrictions. As if it was necessary to consume at all costs, so as not to “miss” anything? No: in 2022, the watchword is to profit.
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Nomadism, “staycation”, active holidays… Are we going to travel differently in 2022?