Travel 2022: Our AI demystifies upcoming industry trends

Published in
4 min readDec 7, 2021


Covid-19 has upturned the world in multiple ways and has resulted in the setting of new trends, behaviors, and normals amongst people and industries. The sector that has been transformed the most, however, has been the travel and tourism industry. Ever since the start of global lockdowns and imposed travel restrictions, trends such as staycations, outdoor adventures, Flights to Nowhere, and RV getaways have made their way into being travelers’ preferred trip choices.

The tourism landscape is ever-changing, and we decided to deep-dive into the latest trends driving the industry in order to understand emerging expectations. We analyzed over 1000 Instagram posts in the United States with hashtags such as #travelusa, #wanderlust, and #2021travel to decode travel intent and desires in the upcoming year.

Our Word Cloud tool depicts the most frequently used words in Instagram posts

Trending travel themes


The pandemic created an unprecedented focus on health and wellness, be it mental or physical. With an increasing number of companies offering remote working opportunities for their employees, there was a surge in travelers that decided to move away from the office to beaches, mountains, and other local getaways. After months of being locked in their homes, these globetrotters started to prefer hotels and boutique stays that offered activities such as yoga, spa experiences, and mindfulness programs that would aid their holistic wellness and potentially improve their immune systems.

Convenience and Safety

Unsurprisingly, one of the most important, non-negotiable aspects for travelers today is that of safety. With large gatherings at airports, hotels, and even restaurants fueling global transmission rates, tourists want to ensure that their safety is prioritized. In order to sustain business, hospitality companies are compelled to focus on frequent sanitization drives at their properties, implement the wearing of masks, and warrant the vaccination of their employees.

Our search data analysis depicts that there was a 26% increase in the keyword “safe countries to visit” in the latter half of 2021 as compared to the first six months of the year. This goes to highlight the fact that traveler intent has transformed from pursuing bucket-list destinations in pre-Covid times to choosing safe and convenient locations that offer minimal Covid protocol-related hassles.


Long periods of cabin fever induced by local and global travel restrictions created a burning desire to be outdoors in nature and in the wilderness. Travelers have started looking for active holidays that involve hiking, kayaking, and even extreme adventure sports such as sky diving in order to combat sedentary lifestyles. Not only do new-age tourists crave adrenaline and the excitement of trying new activities, but the prospect of engaging in these adventures closely relates to their mental and physical wellness.

An additional benefit of participating in these activities is the prevalence of social distancing along with a lowered risk of transmission in the outdoors.

Sustainable Travel

With the recent conversations at COP26 and the increased spotlight on the impact of climate change on the planet, the contemporary traveler is conscious of his commitment to reduce his carbon footprint. Our AI detected a large number of tourist posts supporting local businesses, seeking restaurants and stays that source sustainable ingredients, and even choosing modes of transport with minimal carbon emissions.

In order to appeal to travelers, the hospitality industry must adapt to a more sustainable mode of operation by minimizing energy consumption, incorporating recycling programs, and being ecotourism-friendly.


Lastly, we noticed an emerging trend that will potentially take the stage in the coming year. With the constant implementations on global travel restrictions and Covid testing requirements, families and friends that would occasionally meet were not able to reunite for months at a stretch. Now that global gates are slowly opening up, we anticipate a spike in trips taken by groups of friends and families. All girls’ getaway trips, solo travelers hoping to meet like-minded backpackers, and even family bonding trips to national parks are set to become even more popular than they currently are. After all, what better way to reignite a lost bond than to take a trip?

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