Hot Destinations & Travel Trends 2022 from Travel PR’s clients
Here are Travel PR’s clients’ predictions for the hottest destinations and travel trends for 2022 – plus the expert rationale behind them:
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Reasoning: With new accommodation and restaurant openings, the return of much-missed festivals and sporting events, and up-and-coming foodie hotspots, all eyes will be on the glorious county of Pembrokeshire in 2022. Popular Saundersfoot Harbour has been recently redeveloped and is now home to the Outer Reef Water Sports Centre and the new Ocean Cabins budget bolthole accommodation. It will also host the 2022 World Coastal Rowing Championships in October 2022. Recently-revamped Milford Waterfront boasts new cafés, eateries and shops, and the exciting new Ty Hotel, a 100-bedroom waterside development, will open in spring 2022. Over in Lawrenny, the idyllic Little Retreat glamping resort, overlooking the Cleddau Estuary, is home to a new 12-seat restaurant, ‘Annwn’, by renowned Pembrokeshire chef and forager Matt Powell. It is set in an old potting shed and serves up seasonal 10-course tasting menus with seriously low food miles. The area will also see the return of the Big Retreat Festival, an adventure and wellbeing long weekend featuring wild swimming, gong baths, fire walking and sumptuous Welsh produce and drink. Meanwhile, in September, the charming market town of Narberth will see the return of its popular Food Festival, and the iconic Victorian seaside town of Tenby will welcome back the epic Ironman Wales triathlon event.
Sample trip: Stay at the Little Retreat, a dog-friendly glamping resort home to luxury eco domes with either private wood-fired private hot tubs or outdoor bathtubs, plus a range of bookable experiences including wild swimming, art lessons, paddle boarding, kayaking, stargazing, mindfulness walks and foraging with Matt Powell. The cost for a two-night weekend stay is from £450 per dome (sleeps four). Visit www.littleretreats.co.uk / www.visitpembrokeshire.com.
Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Reasoning: 2022 will see a revival of the Balearic archipelago’s quietest destination. Menorca is fast becoming a hotspot for sustainable travel, and new eyes can feast on a range of innovative spaces, with connections to art, culture, nature and conservation. The opening of the island’s newest cultural attraction, the Hauser & Wirth art gallery, in autumn 2021 (housed in an 18th century former naval hospital in Mahon Harbour), has shone a spotlight on the island – no longer the sleepy neighbour of Mallorca and Ibiza, but an exciting cultural gem filled with chic and contemporary restaurants such as Arlette, plus sundowner bars and picture-perfect landscapes. The island’s green credentials include a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, made up of 514 hectares of lush wetlands, mysterious caves, stunning sand dunes and crystal-clear islets (also home to 220 bird species and 1,000 plant species). Menorca is the ideal ‘green’ holiday island for an all-year-round road trip by campervan, exploring pristine beaches, rugged coastlines and breathtaking landscapes on foot, or by cycling, snorkelling and paddle boarding.
Sample trip: Yescapa (www.yescapa.com), Europe’s leading peer-to-peer campervan and motorhome rental platform, offers a stylishly decked-out Volkswagen T5 Campervan, sleeping four and featuring solar panels, fridge freezer and rear outdoor shower. The cost is £399 for five days, including two insured drivers, breakdown cover and unlimited mileage. Flights extra.
Reasoning: Brand-new train service Lumo has just launched a budget route from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh, with tickets starting from as little as £20 for the 4.5-hour one-way journey, making 2022 the time to take that long-awaited city break to the Scottish capital. Gorge on everything you missed out on in multiple lockdowns – from world-class culture such as Scotland’s new Climate Challenge exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland and the return of the much-missed Edinburgh Fringe, to independent and artisan shopping in the bohemian quarter of Grassmarket in the Old Town and luxury retail therapy on George Street.
Sample trip: Stay at The Dunstane Houses, two five-star Victorian town houses in Edinburgh’s West End which boast 35 bedrooms and an all-day-dining restaurant. The historic hotel combines modern Scottish hospitality with classic Edinburgh architecture, Victorian period features and Orcadian soft furnishings, plus authentic tweeds. Relax after a day of shopping and culture in a supremely comfortable suite – many of which boast roll-top copper baths, four-poster beds and Chesterfield sofas – or in any of the many stylishly decorated lounge and communal areas, perhaps with a DunGin & Tonic or a wee dram of specialist whisky. An overnight stay costs from £174 per room (two sharing), including full Scottish breakfast. Contact Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
The Yorkshire Coast, England
Reasoning: Stretching for more than 90 miles from Staithes in the north to Spurn Point in the south, the stunning Yorkshire Coast is a sustainable travel hotspot on the rise, and the place to go for staycationers looking for a gentle, nature-themed, eco-friendly break. The region has put a big focus on eco-friendly travel and leisure in recent years, with a real push for 2022, and the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP) was recently (June 2021) awarded a grant to work on mitigating the effects of climate change. There’s a raft of eco-friendly accommodation offerings, such as the Baby Moon boutique retreat near Whitby and Saltburn, boasting wooden yurts with wood-burning stoves, bushcraft and rewilding workshops plus holistic therapies, and the Blue Texel Shepherd’s Hut on a working farm/rural retreat near the coastal town of Filey, with fire pits, BBQs and outdoor swing sofas under the stars. The NYMNP was awarded International Dark Skies Reserve Status in 2020, so celestial activities are high on the agenda – in its darkest areas, you can spy up to 2,000 stars at a time. The Yorkshire Coast is also a wildlife lover’s paradise, with the dramatic cliffs at Flamborough and Bempton home to around half a million seabirds from March to September, and whale spotting off the coast of Staithes. There are plenty of places to enjoy a low food miles lunch or dinner, including the new Fish Cottage Seafood Restaurant, just 20 yards from the beach in Sandsend, and the famous Fortune’s Smokehouse & Shop in Whitby.
Sample trip: Stay at the Apothecary Wooden Yurt on the Baby Moon campsite near Whitby, sleeping up to five guests, from £105 per night (two-night minimum). Plan your itinerary with coastal booking tool www.englandscoast.com.
The Subbética, Andalucia, Spain
Reasoning: Hard as it is to imagine, there is a region in Andalucia – one of southernmost Spain’s most-loved and most-visited destinations – that remains little known. Offering a seductive blend of spectacular natural beauty, a superb climate and great hiking, biking and birding, plus characterful welcoming accommodation, sublime food and drink, and olive oil that regularly out-classes its rivals in ‘world’s best’ rankings, the Subbética is also remarkably straightforward to reach. Set in the geographic heart of Andalucia, it’s an easy drive from Malaga airport (approx. 1.5 hours) and a perfect base from which to explore Córdoba, Granada and Seville… if you can tear yourself away.
Sample trip: Stay at Casa Olea, a charming six-room country hotel with stunning pool and views across olive groves and sierras, where a week’s stay costs from €840 per room (approx. £715, two sharing, including breakfast). Dine al fresco under the stars with a delicious home-cooked dinner from €30 pp (£25). Flights and car hire extra. Call Casa Olea on 00 34 696 748 209 or visit www.casaolea.com. For more information on the Subbética, visit www.destinosubbetica.es/en.
Reasoning: 2022 marks 100 years since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Led by British Egyptologist Howard Carter, the team found the first step of a staircase on 4 November 1922 and, by the end of that month, had uncovered the door to the tomb itself, through which Carter was able to catch his first glimpse of a room filled with untold treasures. The famous golden mask of the boy-king, alongside displays of other priceless pieces from his tomb, will go on permanent public display, following their recent world tour, when Cairo’s stunning new Grand Egyptian Museum – overlooking the Pyramids at Giza – opens in 2022.
Sample trip: Experience the Nile in royal style on a 13-night cruise, exclusive to Jules Verne clients, that travels from Cairo and the Pyramids to ancient Thebes and Aswan on board the beautifully restored deluxe paddle steamer, SS Misr. Departing 13 September, The Original Nile by Royal Steamer costs from £5,495 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), full-board cruise, drinks with meals, escorted sightseeing, and the services of an Egyptian tour manager and Egyptologist, plus local representatives. Call Jules Verne on 020 3553 3722 (www.vjv.com).
Reasoning: After one cancelled season (2020) and a second (2021) in which international travel restrictions made getting there from the UK more than a little challenging, 2022 is lining up to be the year to secure tickets for the Verona Opera Festival. Held in the striking Arena di Opera, the world’s largest open-air theatre, the 99th Opera Festival will run over 45 evenings, featuring five opera productions and three special events, including Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s Turandot and Verdi’s Aida, Nabucco and La Traviata, as well as a gala performance by Placido Domingo of pieces from Verdi’s most famous operas.
Sample trip: Specialist tour operator Kirker creates tailor-made short breaks to the Verona Opera Festival, including tickets to your chosen performances. For example, a three-night stay at the Hotel Verona in July 2022 – with flights (Gatwick), return private transfers, Kirker Guide Notes, the services of the Kirker Concierge and 1st Sector Verdi category tickets to Aida – costs from £959 pp (two sharing). Call AITO* member Kirker on 020 7593 2288; www.kirkerholidays.com.
As we go electric, safari goes silent – with Expert Africa
Expert: Chris McIntyre, Managing Director
Forecast: “We’re not the only ones beginning to invest in electric vehicles. In Africa, the perks of battery-powered 4x4s extend beyond eco-friendliness, delivering a much-improved game-watching experience. A handful of camps have, at great cost, introduced electric vehicles, and silent safaris are proving very popular. It’s an altogether enhanced experience, with animals far more relaxed around EVs.”
Sample Trip: AITO* member Expert Africa (020 3405 6666; www.expertafrica.com) offers the seven-night African Hawk-Eagle Fly-in Safari, which includes a stay at Lewa Wilderness – one of the first adopters of electric vehicles – from £4,710 pp (two sharing). This includes full-board accommodation, most drinks, guided safari activities, park fees and transfers. International flights can be arranged at additional cost.
Hotels are investing in wellness – Pride of Britain Hotels
Expert: Kalindi Juneja, CEO
Forecast: “Wellness is becoming a key part of a hotel stay and, as a result, many of our member hotels have invested heavily in – or are upgrading – their wellness and health offerings to adapt to guests’ changing needs. For example, Maison Talbooth in Essex is redeveloping its leisure facilities – following a significant rise in demand for spa days and wellness experiences – with new treatment rooms and an upgrade of the current outdoor swimming pool, pool house and garden room area. Work begins in November, with an opening date of 4th April, 2022. Other examples include The Aqua Club, a new leisure complex at The Headland Hotel & Spa with six pools, a sun terrace and restaurant, The Deck; Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa’s Aquarias Spa in Wiltshire has added a new Floatation Pod, and The Swan at Lavenham in Suffolk has a new holistic treatment menu.
Sample trip: Maison Talbooth (0800 089 3929; www.prideofbritainhotels.com) is a handsome 19th century house with sweeping views of Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley. An overnight stay is from £285 per room per night (two sharing), including breakfast and full access to all the facilities.
Pent up demand will outstrip supply – Northern Lights viewing with The Aurora Zone
Expert: Alistair McLean, Managing Director
Forecast: “Many people who want to do bucket list trips such as seeing the Northern Lights are going to have to wait. There are so many postponed bookings, and huge pent-up demand – but very limited capacity. Remember that travellers from other countries have been able to book for months ahead of those of us in the UK. There is also going to be far less choice from fewer operators. The industry has been hit harder than any other, and the government and CAA will get what they both want: a small number of big operators offering less choice at higher prices. It’s unfathomable, but that is their goal. Please do not let anyone tell you anything else.”
Sample trip: AITO* member The Aurora Zone (01670 785 012; www.theaurorazone.com) has a three-night trip to Finnish Lapland staying in a glass-roofed Aurora cabin with views of the northern skyline. The Northern Lights Village Levi – Under a Northern Skyline trip is priced from £1,695 pp (two sharing), including direct flights (London), transfers, three nights’ full-board accommodation, cold weather clothing and expert guides. Available 2 Dec, 2021 – 24 March 2022.
Luxury hotel stays with the whole family – Elite Hotels
Expert: Warren Elliott – Head of Marketing & Communications
Forecast: “We’ve noticed a significant booking trend during 2021 and looking ahead to 2022 – far more guests are bringing their children along on their luxury hotel break. Across all four of Elite Hotels’ properties in the south east – Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, Tylney Hall Hotel and The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne – we have seen an average 39% increase in family bookings with children under 16, compared with 2019. Adults need no longer keep all the fun to themselves – from hiking and cycling forest trails, childrens’ themed afternoon teas and junior golf and tennis lessons, to adjoining suites and dog-friendly rooms so you can also bring the family pet, not to mention the countless nearby farms, events and attractions – Elite Hotels has the family-friendly break covered.”
Sample trip: Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club in Forest Row, East Sussex, is an opulent forest mansion set in the heart of Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories. With 186 acres of lakes, secret gardens and woodland trails to explore, wildlife roaming the grounds, table tennis, a miniature putting green, family-friendly Forest Brasserie, children’s dining menu, Pooh Bear-themed afternoon teas, and juice with biscuits at bedtime, there’s plenty to keep kids entertained, parents pampered and everyone well-fed. Stay overnight in a family suite from £321 per room per night including breakfast. Visit www.ashdownpark.co.uk.
Virtual Tours are set to stay, whilst demand for IRL experiences slowly returns – The Institute of Tourist Guiding Expert: Carole Hiley, President, the Institute of Tourist Guiding
Forecast: “After two years that has seen the tourism industry suffer like never before, we are starting to see signs of recovery in the professional guiding sector. Overseas visitors are beginning to return to the UK and, whilst the pandemic undoubtedly brought unprecedented challenges to our 1,400+ members, it has served to remind those of us living here that there is so much to enjoy in our own countries. We’ve seen a steady and sustained uptick in the number of guided tours being booked by British clients, either as part of a domestic holiday or simply because they want to get to know their local region better, and we expect to see this continue in 2022. Many guides embraced the technology of virtual tours during lockdown too and, whilst face-to-face or IRL (In Real Life) guiding remains the most popular choice, our members tell us they intend to continue offering and developing these virtual tours as part of their repertoire in 2022 and beyond.”
Sample package: The Institute of Tourist Guiding (www.itg.org.uk), the professional body for tourist guides, is committed to developing, maintaining and promoting the highest standards in tourist guiding. To find a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, including those offering virtual tours, visit the British Guild of Tourist Guides (britainsbestguides.org).
People will take nostalgic trips, wanting to relive previous holiday destinations – but with an adventurous or more luxurious twist – Sunvil
Expert: Rachel Jelley, Sales & Marketing Manager
Forecast: “Day-dreaming about travel has been common throughout the pandemic. With plenty of time at home to look through old photographs and reminisce about past holidays, we are now seeing more and more people feeling nostalgic and wanting to revisit these destinations. There is, however, also a desire to do more, and to make the most of their time, with people seeking to combine these trips down memory lane with something new. In line with this, we have noticed an increased appetite for longer, more complex, island-hopping holidays in Greece, often from seasoned Grecophiles, whose love of Greece perhaps hails from their backpacking days. They’re now looking to reconnect with the islands, but in a different way and in greater comfort – not to mention less hassle, as Sunvil is an expert in booking complex ferry-inclusive trips.
Sample package: Sunvil* (www.sunvil.co.uk; 020 8758 4758) offers an island-hopping adventure between Mykonos, Syros, Naxos, Sifnos, Milos, Folegandros and Santorini (three nights on each). The price is from £5,832 pp (two sharing) and includes B&B accommodation at 4-5 star properties, return flights (Gatwick), all transfers and ferries.
Farm-to-fork dining will be more important, as we look to eat more sustainably and to reduce waste – five-star spa hotel Seaham Hall, County Durham
Expert: Ross Grieve, MD Seaham Hall
Forecast: “Guests are now keen to understand from where their meal has been sourced and how many food miles have been racked up. We work with regional suppliers who rear just a small number of animals and grow vegetables using the most welfare-friendly farming techniques. All seasonal produce, where practical, is sourced within 30 miles of the hotel, and fish orders are placed daily, based on what comes in on the boats. Our Executive Chef Damian Broom works closely with regional farmers to ensure that organic sustainable farming solutions are in place – he introduced retired dairy cows to the menu as a clear example of this practice. Our kitchen team is continuously seeking new ways to improve through reduction of waste, and to find more sustainable methods of working. This includes plans to install our very own kitchen garden, greenhouse, chicken coop, beehives, and a crayfish pond.
Sample trip: A one-night stay in a Junior Suite at Seaham Hall (0191 516 1400; www.seaham-hall.co.uk) costs from £315 (two sharing), including full English breakfast and full access to spa facilities from 3pm on the day of arrival to 12 noon on the day of departure.
There will be a greater pull for ‘wanderMUST’ and people will be more likely to book their next holiday with a travel company, according to research by AITO, The Specialist Travel Association
Expert: Martyn Sumners, Executive Director, AITO
Forecast: “People are viewing travel as an insatiable need and want to get out into the world again, but to book it securely, with over 51% keen to start travelling abroad again in 2022, and over 61% confirming they would opt to organise their next holiday with a travel company*. (*According to the October AITO Travel Intentions study, a survey of customers of AITO’s 200+ tour operator and travel agent members.) Although there is still a strong inclination to travel locally, with 48.6% indicating that they are planning to increase their domestic travel next year, almost 30% have already booked 2022 holidays to European short haul destinations, and 32.8% to long haul destinations. With the removal of all destinations from the red list, and the welcome change in testing rules, these numbers will definitely increase with travellers suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out). Many have saved money they have not been able to spend during lockdown specifically for travel, and our members look forward providing them with superb travel experiences once again.”
Find the perfect holiday at www.aito.com*, which features over 1,200 holidays from its group of travel specialists, which together offer an unrivalled range of holidays with full financial protection, combined with an ethical approach to travel.
*AITO is The Specialist Travel Association: a collection of 200-plus specialist independent holiday companies and travel agents, together providing an unrivalled collection of holiday ideas covering every corner of the world. Consumers booking with AITO members can be assured of high-quality holidays, excellent personal service and full financial protection. Visit www.aito.com for further information.
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