The 2022 Traveler: Emerging Trends and the Redefined Traveler

NEW: Hilton released its 2023 trends report, The 2023 Traveler: Emerging Trends that are Innovating the Travel Experience, which reveals the latest consumer expectations following a year when travelers showed up in record numbers.

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Trends In Summary: The Profile of the 2022 Traveler

While this report details various micro insights and data driving change, four consistent themes emerged that encapsulate the new, pandemic-changed traveler:

  1. Amid Chaos, People Found Efficiencies – And Will Be Looking for the Same in Travel: People have embraced efficiencies in many aspects of life and will be looking for similar conveniences in their travels, like contactless check-in and check-out and digital keys. 
  2. Overall Focus on Wellness Will Span Beyond the Gym: With a reimagined workplace and new routines and habits in place, travelers will be looking for more grounding and balance in their travel schedules.
  3. They Nurtured New and Existing Passions and Will Have More Refined Tastes and Preferences: New and refreshed hobbies are leading to a more informed, sophisticated, and, in some cases, in-shape 2022 traveler.  People are anticipated to pack their passions, driving demand for new trends in fitness, culinary options and unique travel experiences.
  4. A New Sense of Caring Has Emerged – And Is Expected to Strengthen: The pandemic separated families and friends, which is leading to a prioritization of reunion and reconnection travel in 2022. Beyond their inner circles, travelers are expected to care more about sustainability and community efforts — and are looking to remain loyal to brands, companies and organizations that align with their values. 

“The world – and the hospitality industry – went through so much in the last two years. And as we’ve uncovered in this report, travelers’ needs and interests have shifted too. At Hilton, we’ve been incredibly focused on delivering the experiences our guests are looking for, through every up and down we’ve faced.”

A photo of Chris Nassetta

Chris Nassetta

President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilton

As a company that has welcomed 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, Hilton showcases within the report how it is evolving alongside the changing traveler, tackling areas of expertise such as:

  • Fitness: How app workouts and new fitness routines have changed people’s approach to where, when and how they exercise on-the-road.
  • Spa: How the increased focus on wellness is evolving the spa, as well as the holistic, hotel experience.
  • Food and beverage: How the sourdough bread trend of 2020 is translating into more demand for culinary adventures; how tequila sales are dramatically outpacing the pre-pandemic bar shelf leader, bourbon.
  • Sustainability: From cooking in solar ovens to exploring using electric-assist bikes, how 18 months in lockdown is driving a renewed passion for a healthy planet.
  • Design: How DIY improvements, plant-crazed hobbies and working from patios is changing people’s perspective of hotel design.
  • Amenities: How the rise in pet ownership during the pandemic is leading to increased interest in pet travel and the development of hotel dog parks, pup perks and more.
  • Loyalty: How the rise of loyalty programs — across all sectors — is leading to better personalization and benefits to customers.

“The pandemic’s impact on the travel industry has been well documented. However, it’s equally important to recognize the psychological impact the pandemic had, and will continue to have, on travelers for years to come. The traveler may have changed, but the benefit of travel remains the same — increased emotional health and wellness, and after a tough two years, that’s something we all need.” 

a photo of Dr. Kate Cummins

Dr. Kate Cummins, Psy.D

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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