Sunday, January 9, 2022

What's in and what's out for 2022 travel?

The world’s most experienced travelers shared their insights and expectations for destination preferences, modes of transportation, and decision-making criteria in the Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey. 

In a nearly unanimous response, domestic travel is “IN” but travelers are closely split when it comes to international travel. Fifty-eight percent of survey-takers say international travel is “OUT” while 42% say foreign trips are “IN.”  

Sedona, Arizona

Despite the split in opinion, traveler confidence is surging. TSA data indicates traveler levels have returned to 85% of their pre-pandemic levels. According to the 2021 Fall Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey, nearly 86% of travelers have taken domestic trips, and 42% have traveled internationally since the pandemic started a year a half ago.   

Air and automobile travel are considered “IN” but large ship cruises are overwhelmingly “OUT.” One survey-taker said, “cruises are still out, except for smaller river cruises”   

AMA Serena, a river cruise ship

Travelers are basing their destinations on new, pandemic-related criteria. Locations with low-COVID-19 infection rates are, understandably, preferred over regions with high-COVID-19 infection incidents. “Countries and states with good, clear COVID-19 management, vaccination protocols and medical response plans are IN. Avoiding states and countries where COVID-19 education and vaccinations responses have lagged are OUT,” said one respondent.  

Old Faithful, Yellowstone
National Park

On another level, travelers are seeking uncrowded, remote or outdoor places to go. Historically, popular destinations are still in play if the COVID-19 rates are low [CDC COVID-19 Tracker]. Metropolitan areas in popular countries are generally “OUT” but cities with open spaces or located in less frequented areas are thought to be a viable option. “Out are large cities with no exposure to outdoor recreation,” said another respondent.   

Travelers are expecting to plan trips to more remote destinations, especially if it’s outside. But most are careful to point out that remote destinations are “OUT” if the local medical facilities are non-existent or insufficient to provide care for complicated injuries or illnesses, like COVID-19. “I would feel safe traveling internationally if I traveled to a country with modern medical facilities, a low COVID-19 rate, and available hospital beds if I had a medical problem while traveling,” said a respondent.  

This post was provided by Bill McIntyre at Global Rescue is the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services to enterprises, governments and individuals.  


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