Traveling is fun! It also has a lot of benefits as it exposes us to new places, new cultures, and new experiences. Travel can help us achieve peace as we venture out and broaden our minds.
Traveling can be many people’s main choice when they want to unwind, or break repetitive patterns in their life.
That being said, there’s a wide variety of experiences to be had within the travel landscape. Almost every destination has a unique perspective and different approach to travel and tourism.
In this article, we’ll explore relevant travel statistics and facts for 2022. These statistics will help you understand the travel industry and the world as a whole. These statistics and facts are curated from a variety of sources and will give you a wide picture of the travel industry.
Sustainable Travel Statistics and Facts
1. In April 2020, 64% of British travelers said they want to travel sustainably in 2021. Additionally, 76% of consumers said they would get more eco-conscious in 2021 and beyond. 54% reported focusing more on the issue of plastics.
2. 69% of travelers in the United States find sustainable travel very important.
3. Sustainable tourism focuses on creating better places not just to visit but also to live. It helps maintain the natural culture and environment of the area while also employing locals and empowering them to live in their community throughout the year without any compulsion to alter it for tourists. A great way to support local residents is through patronizing homestays and independent hostels.
4. When you support locally-run businesses and tour guides, you can better learn about their environment and culture directly from the local people. There is less chance of being fed the scripted, tourist-friendly data, and you get first-hand insight into life as a local, appreciating the community for what it is.
5. Most travelers are mindful of the environment. 59% of travelers globally would increase their travel spending to achieve sustainability.
6. 64% of travelers prefer traveling during off-peak seasons.
7. According to Booking.com, 60% of travelers intend to meet new people while on vacation
8. According to Booking.com, 58% of travelers agree that it’s important that their travel is beneficial to the local community in that particular destination. A further 29% are going to research more about how their travel spending will impact local communities.
9. According to Hotel Business, 54% of Americans prefer travel websites or apps that recommend sustainable destinations, such as Hidden Lemur. 65% of travelers want authentic experiences that embrace local cultures, while 64% want their travel spending to go back to the local community.
General Travel Statistics
- Tourism was responsible for 9% of the global GDP and 1 out of 11 jobs, as of 2015, according to the UNWTO. The UNWTO further estimates that tourism will grow to 1.8 billion international visits by the year 2030.
2. According to a TripAdvisor study, 77% of interviewed respondents from the top 6 markets (U.S., U.K, Japan, Italy, Australia, and Singapore) say they’ll travel internationally once they receive a COVID vaccine. This figure is higher at 86% for domestic travel.
3. There were 1 billion fewer travelers in 2020 than in 2019 because of the global pandemic.
4. Vacation is essential for most people. According to the Expedia Traveler Value Index, more than a third of travelers would trade a pay raise for more vacation days. According to a Booking.com study, 73% of travelers say vacation time will be strictly work-free.
5. Most travelers expect to spend more on travel than other aspects of their life such as entertainment, healthcare, and buying or maintaining a car.
6. Most travelers look for adventure when traveling. According to Expedia’s Traveler Value Index, 75% of travelers are likely to choose a destination they’ve never visited before.
7. According to CNBC, 37% of Americans plan to take both domestic and international trips in 2022.
Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Travel and Tourism Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the travel business significantly. With lockdowns imposed, borders closed, hotels closed, and people opting to stay home, tourism took a massive blow. Here are some statistics on how the pandemic affected the travel and tourism industry:
1. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), 62 million jobs were lost globally due to the pandemic. 49.1% of GDP was lost globally due to reduced tourism activities as a result of the pandemic.
2. In Africa, GDP reduced from $169 billion to $86 billion, a net change of -49.2%. Additionally, 7 million jobs were lost.
3. The total travel GDP went down by 53.7% in the Asia-Pacific region, from $3.06 trillion to $1.417 trillion. Additionally, 34 million jobs were lost.
4. In Europe, tourism and travel GDP declined by 51.4%, from $2.19 billion in 2019 to $1.066 billion in 2020, with more than 3.6 million jobs lost in the process. However, the situation was relatively well managed by job retention schemes introduced in most European countries.
5. In the Americas, travel and tourism-related GDP went down by 42.4%, from $2.48 to 1.43. Also, the pandemic leads to a loss of 11.8 million jobs across North America, the Caribbean, and South America.
6. In the Middle East, tourism GDP dropped by $51.1% from $270 billion to $132 billion, with $1.2 million jobs lost.
7. According to the UNWTO, international arrivals reduced by 83% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2020.
Post COVID-19 Tourism Statistics
1. Most people are hopeful that comfortable travel experiences will return once the pandemic is over. According to UNWTO, 60% of tourism experts expect international tourism to rebound in 2022. However, around 50% expect tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024.
2. The travel industry is anticipated to generate $2 trillion in the U.S. economy, raising employment by 26.2%.
3. The number of global tourism jobs could surpass 349 million.
4. Vaccines have played a crucial role in reopening international travel. According to Forbes, 71% of US travelers are comfortable with the idea of a vaccine passport. This figure is higher in the U.K, where 81% of travelers are ready to show proof of vaccination.
U.S Travel Statistics
1. New York City is the safest destination for solo travelers, according to a survey by VacationRenter. More than half of Solo travelers rank NYC as the safest and most popular destination in the world. Other most popular destinations include Washington D.C, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.
2. According to Cars.com, 57% of Americans travel during Thanksgiving Day. 84% of travelers choose to travel by car during this holiday.
3. Despite the pandemic, in 2020 there was still $65.1 billion spent on travel in California! But that is a drop of 55% from 2019! This contributed to 860K jobs, a dip from 1.17 million in 2019. In total, the travel industry generated $1.5 trillion for the U.S. economy.
4. In 2020, 72% of Americans canceled their summer travel plans. 32% of Americans decided to wait until 2021 to travel.
5. According to the Travelers Association, international visitors are estimated to spend around USD 95 billion in 2022 and around USD 118 billion in 2023.
6. 65% of U.S. travelers intend to socialize while on vacation, while 52% choose to stay in places with plenty of nightlife so they can meet new people.
Asia-Travel Travel Statistics
1. Asia-Pacific Travel is expected to rise by 27%after 2020.
2. According to Airbus, the demand for air transport is expected to grow exponentially. The company expects the number of passenger and freight aircraft to increase by 39,000 by 2040.
3. Before the pandemic, tourism amounted to 12% of Thailand’s GDP. This has dropped to about 1% and a loss of $50 billion in revenue and 3 million jobs. Thailand expects that there will have been 7 million visitors in 2021, down from 40 million in 2019.
Europe Travel Statistics
European residents are among the most avid travelers. According to data from the European Union, at least 64.9% of E.U. residents aged over 15 made at least one tourism trip in 2019. This figure is expected to dip significantly in 2021 and 2022. However, full recovery is expected to be achieved by 2024.
Here are more statistics about European Travel in 2021 from Europe:
1. England, Spain, France, and Italy account for over 55% of Europe’s total travel. Spain was the most visited country in 2019 before the pandemic, accounting for 10.1% of all trips made by European residents.
2. Summer and Christmas are the peak seasons for domestic travel. Nearly a quarter of trips by European residents occur in the summer months of July and August.
3. 17% of all long trips made by Europeans took at least 4 overnight stays. In 2019, residents made over 827 domestic trips and 311 international trips.
4. 4.8% outbound trips were made to Asia, 4.6% to America, and 3.8% to Asia.
Outdoor Travel Statistics
2. Canada is one of the most hikeable countries in the world. In Canada, there are an estimated 18,000 hiking trails.
Family Travel Statistics
1. Most families research travel options before setting out. An estimated 74% of families report using information from websites to plan their travel.
2. Road trips amounted to 22% of family vacations in 2019.
3. A 2018 study by Global Data suggests that family travel will increase by 25% in 2022.
4. The number of family trips in the U.S. is expected to rise over 376 million in 2022.
5. 34% of parents prefer staying in hotels due to the numerous hotel perks that hotels provide. These include bonus points on credit cards, free Wifi, and more.
6. Africa is a popular travel destination for family travel, with a 40% increase in multi-generational family bookings.
1. 64% of travelers agree that technology is important to them while on vacations. 62% of travelers say technology helps alleviate travel anxiety.
2. According to a 2018 survey conducted in the industry, contactless technology will be in full swing by 2022 and will be mostly applied in hotel check-ins, airports, lifts and elevators, and more. Experts project that 50% of visitors will have portable devices for self-check-in.
3. According to a global survey by Phocus wire, 30% of international hoteliers are happy with emerging tech trends. They are looking into integrating vital ones such as mobile check-in and digital key and temperature checks when customers check-in.
4. According to the Value Penguin, 6 in every 10 people use social media to choose travel destinations. Millennials are the majority of social media users, with 81% having used social media to find travel inspiration. Also, 46% of millennials use blogs to plan their vacations.74% of travelers say they use social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and more while traveling.
5. Both Facebook and Instagram play a crucial role in tourism marketing. More than 50% of travelers like pages related to their planned trips.
6. Each week, travelers search more than 1 million travel hashtags across social media channels.
Facts About Irresponsible Travel in the World
1. Bali is one of the most polluted travel destinations in the world. According to National Geographic, over 33,000 tons of waste are released at sea each year.
2. The 1,032-hectare island of Boracay in the Philippines generates 67 tons of trash daily, mostly due to excessive tourism. Boracay was shut down for six months to allow it to recover from the excessive waste dumped by visitors, but the waste problems relapsed when the island reopened.
3. Hawaii is among North America’s most over traveled destinations. A paper published in 2019 showed that increasing numbers of annual visitors in Hawaii were on the brink of overwhelming the island’s resources.
4. In 2019, Santorini, Greece, capped the number of tourists at 8,000 a day. This was done to reduce the strain on the island and curb the effects of overtourism.
5. In 2019, the Peruvian government capped the number of tourists in the Machu Picchu to 2,244 a day.
6. In 2019, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, considered banning restaurants from adding outside tables and chairs.
7. Tuscany, Italy, introduced fines of $555 for anyone found eating outside shops and in doorways. This fine aims to reduce littering. Additionally, the beach of La Pelosa charges around $4.45 for admissions, intending to cut 1,500 visitors each day.
8. Overtourism in Barcelona caused rent to increase by over 50% from 2014 to 2018. Amsterdam, another city facing overtourism, introduced a €3 per person per night tourist tax.
9. Negative environmental impacts of tourism can include loss of biodiversity, climate change, depletion of natural resources, wasted water resources, changes in land use, congestion, degradation of natural ecology, pollution, visual clutter, and aesthetic pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, historic site degradation, deforestation, unsustainable use of land, and coastline, reef, and mangrove destruction. The goal of sustainable tourism is not only to curb these effects but also to counter them, to contribute to the regeneration of the environment, the cultural sites, and the social fabric of the destination.
10. In Canada, particularly during the pandemic, many Provincial Parks experienced over-use, putting a strain on the natural ecology of many landscapes. This prompted government sectors like Ontario Parks to establish pre-booking schedules to better manage the consistency of the number of hikers using many of its most popular hiking trails.
Other Travel Statistics
1. Nearly 48% of travelers are more likely to book through new sites and companies that they haven’t used before. Meanwhile, 53% of travelers want to trust that a provider will deliver on their promises.
2. According to HospitalityNet, 85% of hoteliers predict a full financial recovery from the impact of covid related limits on travel, before the end of 2022.
1. Experts predict that in 2022, more people will be taking local trips within their countries. 51% of travelers said they prefer to visit places near their destinations while 24% prefer adventures while enjoying the local lifestyle.
1. Cultural engagement is crucial to travelers of color. 85% of people of color value cultural engagement with other communities when choosing a travel destination.
2. 51% of travelers strive to interact with other communities and learn about new cultures.
1. More travelers want to make short getaway trips. 48% want shorter trips compared to 28% who want longer trips. Japan is one of the most popular destinations for quick getaways, with 58% of global travelers preferring it to other countries.
Health/Wellness Benefits of Travel
1. 33% of travelers think travel makes them more well-rounded.
2. 48% of travelers think travel leads to better mental and physical wellness. Another study by Booking.com suggests that 79% of travelers agree that travel boosts their mental and emotional well-being.
Fun Travel Facts
While travel can be fun, relaxing, and adventurous, it has numerous extremes that you may never have come across. Here are some fun, intriguing travel facts to get you hooked:
1. Travel is scientifically proven to make people more empathetic.
2. Research has shown that frequent travelers have better mental health.
3. At 9,259 km, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest train ride in the world.
4. China has the longest railway network. With 37000 kilometers and an additional 3000 km of the railway network being constructed, China has by far the most impressive railway system in the world.
5. Emil and Liliana Schmid (Switzerland) have traveled the longest driven journey (743,000 km). They have traveled to over 190 countries, almost 99% of the total sovereign countries in the world. Their journey started in 1984 and is still ongoing.
6. The world’s longest walk is a 14000-mile Journey from Cape Town, South Africa to Magadan, Russia to the Far East of Siberia. This journey is estimated to take at least 8 months and travels through 17 countries. When walking 8 hours a day every day, this can take an estimated 587 days. When walking continuously, it can take an estimated 194 days.
7. The travel industry in the U.K employs over 4 million people.
8. The Great Wildebeest Migration is the largest animal migration in the world. An estimated 2 million animals (wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras) cross from Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya).
9. The Praia do Cassino Beach in Brazil is the longest beach in the world, stretching over 150 miles.
10. The shortest flight in the world is under two minutes, from Westray Island to Papa Westray Island in Scotland.
11. An estimated 23 million people travel by train in India every day.
12. Papua New Guinea has over 1000 ethnic communities, being the most culturally diverse country in the world. It also has over 800 distinct languages.
13. Hiking has been proven to improve mood and elevate the feel-good hormones.
14. Canada has a record of over 2 million lakes, making it the most for any country. Finland, 30x smaller than Canada, also has a massive number of lakes, approximately 188,000. It’s referred to as Land of A Thousand Lakes.
15. Geographically, China covers 5 time zones (Changbai, Tibet, Longshu, Kunlun, and Zhongyuan time zones). However, it uses the standard time for mainland China (UTC+8).
16. New York’s Central Park is larger than the principality of Monaco.
17. According to a Bagsaway study 97% of travelers feel happier when they plan a trip.
18. According to the Global Advisory and Accounting Network, consumers are increasingly seeking travel destinations that align with green values and commitment to minimize the negative impact on travel. As a result, more travel businesses have had to rethink how they run their travel businesses.
20. Japan has one of the most impressive railway systems. Below the railway lines are purpose-built turtle tunnels to ensure they don’t get overrun by trains.
21. With an average of 2 people per square mile, Mongolia is the least populated place in the world.
22. Las Vegas City, Nevada, has the most hotel rooms in the world.
23. India is the most diverse country globally, whether economically, socially, culturally, geographically, or racially.
24. There are over 19,000 airports in the U.S. The Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest globally, with around 103 million travelers every year.
25. Russia spans 11 time zones. Ideally, you can celebrate New Year multiple times within 24 hours.
Tourism Trends for 2022
Here are some tourism predictions for 2022 that will likely shape the travel industry:
1. Emphasis on Safety & Hygiene
Safety and hygiene are critical aspects of the tourism industry. If you want to enjoy your vacation, you need to ensure that all conditions are safe and healthy.
Many countries have experienced the adverse impact of the pandemic and have placed a huge concern over safety and hygiene. The need to maintain better hygiene will continue into 2022 to help curb further infections.
2. Active Tourism
According to Amadeus, activity-based tourism will prevail in 2022. Two-thirds of travelers consider sustainable travel a priority, while 37% of travelers think opportunities for the preservation of tourist destinations can help the travel industry become more sustainable. More tourism operators are promising to offer a measurable and positive impact on the environment.
3. Shift From International to Local
Traveling abroad has been the most common form of travel experiences. Before the outbreak, international travel was leading in the travel industry, which contributes about 10% of the world’s GDP. In 2022, more people will consider taking local trips than in previous years. Countries have begun encouraging people to consider touring their home destinations to boost their home economies.
Most countries won’t have recovered fully from the pandemic, so local travel will be the norm. New restrictions and possible border closures could be a part of the future, these are still unknowns as we move forward. Most countries are remaining positive and hopeful about vaccinations, however, and we are all looking ahead to building back the travel industry stronger and healthier than it was before.
4. Growth of Contactless Payments
The growth of contactless payment will grow higher in 2022 than in previous years. That is because, unlike cash, contactless payments are more safe and convenient.
With contactless payments, it’s easier to make quick transactions in the tourism sector. You can travel conveniently without carrying your wallet.
The pandemic has also led to the growth of contactless payments. Most businesses prefer online transactions to cash to reduce direct person-to-person contact.
5. Vaccines Will Play a Crucial Role in Traveling
The majority of governments consider it a top priority to ensure that everyone gets vaccinated, especially travelers. As a result, vaccines will play an essential role in traveling by 2022 in a bid to protect both travelers and local communities.
COVID-19 vaccines will likely be more advanced by 2022 than in 2021. Vaccinated travelers will feel safer, as being vaccinated boosts someone’s confidence, knowing that they travel without worrying over the dangerous virus.
6. Technology Will Be On the Forefront of Travel in 2022
The pandemic has led to the rise of new technologies such as virtual travel and augmented reality. V.R. helps travelers to take virtual trips from the comfort of their homes. Through V.R., you can experience virtual travels to popular destinations, hotel and restaurant interiors, famous landmarks, and more. Augmented reality combined with virtual elements helps to enjoy real-world experiences.
VR also has an interesting positive impact on the sustainability of the environment and cultural sites, as there are physically fewer people walking around at the actual places.