Grab your sunglasses—the travel industry looks bright heading into 2022. After staying close to home during the pandemic, seven out of 10 frequent travelers say they will spend more on travel in 2022 than they have in the past five years, according to a consumer travel report from Flywire. Most (78 percent) have more travel funds available from not traveling during the pandemic.
Consumers are eager to make up for lost time, with 84 percent saying they are as enthusiastic about travel as they have ever been. In fact, traveling is so important that 41 percent of people say they would give up watching sports for a month in exchange for a vacation, according to Expedia. About one in three people say they would give up online shopping, social media and TV shows for a month to get away for an adventure.
People have a strong desire to travel—for both personal and professional purposes. If you’re enthused about attending The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas next month, you’re in good company. According to the Amex Trendex, a trend report from American Express, 80 percent of people are either hopeful, happy or excited about traveling for in-person events again.
After months of Zoom meetings, people welcome face-to-face interaction. Most business travelers (80 percent) believe their professional lives and career opportunities suffer without travel, according to a study by SAP Concur. The study revealed that 54 percent of workers say they like making personal connections with clients and colleagues, and 52 percent like experiencing new places. Almost half of professionals (41 percent) say business travel is a chance to take a break from everyday life and change up their usual routine.
While business travel isn’t projected to recover as swiftly as leisure travel next year, the Global Business Travel Association still forecasts the segment to reach nearly $1.6 trillion by 2024.
As the world continues to adapt to the pandemic, travelers are eager to venture out again—and to do so safely. Businesses such as hotels, cruise lines and airlines can use promotional products to educate and ensure guests and passengers about safety protocols. They can also use logoed items to drive reservations and recruit workers. Brands that want to reach travelers can tap into logoed products to help make the journey smoother or the destination more enjoyable.
Read on for insights into the travel market and get ideas on how to navigate the way forward.
Whether it’s the open road, the friendly skies or the seven seas, people are ready to get out again. However, COVID remains a top concern for both leisure and business travelers.
An August Gallup poll revealed that 61 percent of Americans favor vaccination requirements for air travel. Three out of four travelers say they would pay more for a trip with additional health and safety protocols, such as rapid testing, according to Flywire. Most people (73 percent) believe vaccine passports can help make travel safe again, according to multinational market research firm Ipsos. Older adults and those with a higher level of education are most likely to support vaccine passports.
Even once they get to their destination, almost half of all travelers (47 percent) continue to be highly cautious by wearing a mask outdoors and limiting contact with others, according to the 2021 Immarsat Passenger Confidence Tracker. Only one percent say they are not taking precautions anymore.
Travel brands can use promotional campaigns to bring safety to the forefront. Use promotional products to reach out to travelers and communicate low-risk options, such as contactless arrival kiosks.
Want to get your client’s brand in front of business travelers? Get to know this group.
- Two-thirds have a bachelor’s degree
- They have an average household income of $82,000
- 60% are male and 50% are 45 years and older
- Corporate travelers go on trips to attend conferences (62%), meet with other companies for business planning (56%), pursue professional development (44%), meet co-workers in a different location (40%) and pitch new products (30%)
Here’s where travelers say they want to go on their next vacation:
- Beach resort 45%
- Major city 36%
- Small town or village 33%
- Rural area 25%
- Mountains 23%
More than a third of people would trade a pay raise for more vacation time, according to Expedia Group’s 2021 Traveler Index.
Travelers pack their bags and jet away for various reasons. Here are four of the biggest ones, according to Expedia:
- To enjoy new experiences 56%
- To learn about other cultures and communities 51%
- To boost physical and mental wellness 48%
- To become a more well-rounded person 33%
WFH has taken on a new meaning: work from hotel. Many travelers are taking advantage of the flexibility to work anywhere. For example:
- 34% of travelers have worked from domestic or international accommodations, such as a hotel or resort, during the pandemic
- 28% of travelers worked four to six days away from home
- 23% worked six to 10 days away from home
- 59% say remote work will be a consideration in their future travel plans
Promotional products can help promote the specific business services hotel and short-stay accommodations offer.
The U.S. is home to more than 46,000 travel agencies, with most located in California (1,775 businesses), New York (1,559 businesses) and Florida (1,190 businesses). Promotional products distributors can work with independent agents and larger travel companies to generate leads and build brand awareness.
“Bleisure”—a blend of leisure and business travel—will continue to be a major trend in 2022. About 60 percent of business trips turn into bleisure trips. Here are some top reasons why, according to a Stratos Jets survey of business travelers:
Traveling to a bucket list/must-visit location 43%
Traveling to an easy-to-navigate city 38%
Traveling close to the weekend 37%
Traveling to a great recreation city 34%
Traveling with friends 32%
- About 2.9 million people fly in and out of U.S. airports every day
- The FAA handles about 16.4 million flights a year
- During peak times, there are about 5,400 aircrafts in the sky
- The U.S. is home to more than 19,000 airports
Source: Federal Aviation Administration
According to the U.S. Travel Association, the travel industry supports nearly 16 million jobs and is the nation’s seventh-largest employer. As travel continues to pick up steam in 2022, businesses in all sectors of the travel industry will need more workers. Companies can use promotional products to attract talent and stay visible in a competitive market.
In 2019, the global cruise industry reached a record high serving nearly 30 million passengers. This number plummeted to about 5.8 million last year, according to Statista. While it’s not quite smooth sailing for the cruise industry yet, many cruise lines are reporting robust demand. According to Travel + Leisure, Carnival, one of the world’s leading cruise lines, already has more bookings for 2022 than it had in 2019. Cruise lines looking to promote getaways to potential customers use eye-catching direct mail and onboard promotional products, such as branded room gifts and contest prizes, to help make the experience more memorable.
More people are taking a great American road trip—and doing so in an RV. According to Go RVing, RV ownership hit a record high this year, with 11.2 million households owning an RV. This is up 62 percent from 2001 and 26 percent from 2011. Since space is tight in an RV, useful, multi-functional promo products and those that fold away, collapse or attach securely to solid surfaces are most in demand for companies trying to reach these travelers and the companies that serve them.
The Professional Backpack and Rolling Case Combo will impress any corporate traveler. A checkpoint-friendly backpack features four separate sections and fits a 16-inch laptop. The rolling laptop case also includes four distinct sections and features a telescoping handle and in-line skate wheels. Both come with a lifetime warranty.
Mobile Edge / PPAI 314937, S1 / www.mobileedge.com
The Birmingham Travel Gift Set includes a matching leatherette passport holder, key ring and luggage tag. The passport holder has four card slots to carry important identification, credit and other types of cards. The luggage tag features a clear plastic view window for easy identification and buckled strap. Each piece includes a metal plate for engraving and come boxed together with a die-cut foam insert.
Logomark, Inc. / PPAI 110898, S12 / www.logomark.com
The King’s Cross Travel Blanket makes a luxurious gift for travelers and nappers alike. This fleece blanket folds into a compact pillow and features a trolley sleeve for tucking a boarding pass. Choose from navy or slate.
Towel Specialties / PPAI 113150, S7 / www.towelspecialties.com
Companies can show appreciation to their frequent business travelers with the Hackberry Canyon Leather Hanging Travel Kit. This full-size kit keeps all the essentials handy inside convenient pockets. It’s made from full-grain leather and features an eight-inch carrying handle.
Beacon Promotions, Inc. / PPAI 113702, S10 / www.beaconpromotions.com
Travel agents can thank clients with the Pouch With Antimicrobial Additive. This handy pouch fits travel toiletries and has been treated with a blend of antimicrobial inhibitors to prevent bacteria growth.
Leed’s / PPAI 112361, S13 / www.leedsworld.com
On-The-Go Amusements game boxes are colorful, pocket-size tins that include 50 cards for on-the-go fun. Among the 20 themes in this line are 50 Great Things To Do Outside, on a Plane, at the Beach, in the Car, etc. The game’s packaging makes it ideal for branding.
The Book Company / PPAI 218850, S5 / www.thebookco.com
Even the youngest adventurers love to travel in style so let them go wild over the Paws N Claws Sport Pack. This adorable drawstring bag is available in 35 fun animal prints, from a shark to a penguin to a tiger and more. Crafted of 210D polyester, it features imprint space on the bottom center.
Crown/IMAGEN Brands / PPAI 113430, S10 / www.IMAGENBrands.com
It’s always smart to keep travel documents safe and organized whether on a business trip or an adventurous getaway. The KAPSTON Pierce Passport Wallet holds a passport, ID and credit cards with card slots, a pen loop, plenty of pockets, and ID and passport windows. It also comes with a front zippered pocket and a slip pocket on the back.
Koozie Group / PPAI 114187, S13 / www.kooziegroup.com
The rePETe Travel Pack has a tough exterior and is loaded with special features. Two side bottle pockets and storage area for a hydration reservoir ensure hydration for all day outings. The adjustable shoulder straps make it comfortable to wear. When not in use, it can easily be pouched into its front pocket and clipped onto a utility belt. The pack is constructed from certified recycled materials, meaning it has zero climate impact. This bag is fully customizable with dye sublimation printing that lasts a lifetime with no peeling or fading.
ChicoBag / PPAI 440893, S3 / www.chicobag.com
The Eco-Insulated Travelpack Vest is a lightweight, insulated, eco-friendly favorite when extra warmth is needed, or roll it up and tuck it into a self-pouch when it’s not. The vest is made of 100-percent 20d fine denier polyester with a 100-percent polyester insulation, of which 35 percent is comprised of recycled polyester. Features include zippered handwarmer pockets, an easily accessible interior embroidery pocket and a drawcord at the hem for a custom fit.
Storm Creek / PPAI 438091, S6 / www.stormcreek.com
Road trips are one of the most popular forms of travel and window decals are essential when traveling to state parks where a member pass must be prominently displayed on the vehicle. The removable labels come on a roll and can be used on glass, metal, plastic or laminate. Available in one, two or three spot colors or four-color process with gloss lamination.
Labelworks / PPAI 111141, S3 / www.labelworks.com
Travel agents help provide the best experience for their clients. The finest ones consider every detail—right down to hotel-room amenities. Understanding that many hotels stopped providing toiletries, one travel agent worked with Beacon Promotions on custom travel bottle sets. Each set contains refillable, TSA-compliant bottles that travelers can reuse every trip. After sending the gifts to existing clients, the travel agent saw an uptick in bookings.
Source: Beacon Promotions
Used with permission from PPAI Media