People are ready to travel again, but while interest in far-flung destinations grows, the desire to explore closer to home and in the great outdoors continues to hold steady.
According to research from RMS North America, 59 percent of travelers plan to only travel domestically, and 48 percent of survey respondents plan on taking more road trips in 2022, up by 16 percent compared to 2021.
“Despite the many challenges of the past few years, the human desire to travel and explore has not subsided,” stated Frederic Dominioni, chief revenue officer, RMS North America. “Through changing health protocols, travel bans, and shifting expectations, the travel industry adjusted to meet new demands of today’s travelers, and we’re continuing to see a strong uptick in travel bookings as we look ahead. People are ready to travel again, they’ve been ready, and we see that reflected in our data.”
The survey revealed several other key findings:
—Camping continues to be a strong draw for vacationers, with research showing travelers are 30 percent more likely to stay at a campground than last year.
—New RV owners are a big driver of this demand. After making such a large investment, owners want to make sure they are getting their money’s worth out of the vehicle and have the experiences that go along with it.
—Experiential travel is seeing a steady increase, with 69 percent of campers indicating a campground’s location and proximity to attractions influence a booking decision.
—Travelers want to see some pandemic-era features stay in place, with 67 percent of survey respondents electing to continue enhanced cleaning in communal property spaces and 53 percent opting for contactless check-in and check-out processes.
“The outdoor hospitality industry is on the cusp of an exciting growth period driven by consumers’ strong desire for travel,” added Dominioni. “At RMS, we aim to be a valued partner for the industry, supporting these businesses with the tools they need to cater to today’s travelers. This year will be one marked by resiliency, rebuilding, and embracing the now. We’re ready to help the industry navigate these shifts.”
RMS, which offers cloud-based property management solutions, noted several tips for hospitality managers navigating the return to travel including:
—Attract local guests with same-state discounts for reservations.
—Introduce more add-on services and activities and upgrade pricing to make the most of increased spending.
—Continue increased cleaning protocols, especially for shared areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
—Look into adding a mobile check-in/-out feature through your reservation management system.