Trends & Insights

Travel trends: Traveler motivations revealed

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We asked 48,413 travelers from around the world what motivates them to travel. Here, we reveal their responses

We all have unique motivations to travel. From discovering new places and trying new food to getting away from demands at home, there are many reasons travelers book trips. Understanding these motives can help you appeal to and meet the needs of prospective guests. We delve into data from Booking.com’s recent travel trends survey to reveal what motivated travelers’ last vacations. 

Travel motivations 

Following years of uncertainty, it’s no surprise that the primary reasons for travel across the board were rest and relaxation. Giving myself time to relax (84%), taking time to mentally unwind (78%), and boosting my mood (78%) were the top three motivators globally. 

Two other themes also emerged as primary motivators: New experiences and human connections, with many travelers eager to experience new places (74%) and spending time with family (72%).  

Destination motivations 

The survey found that there are five main themes that inspire travelers when choosing a destination: The “essentials,” entertainment, culture, beach, and budget. Considered an essential, cleanliness topped the list as the most important factor when choosing a destination, with 84% of global respondents basing their decision on how clean the destination is.   

Other factors included beautiful natural scenery and personal safety (both 83%), followed by friendly people (79%) and tasty local food (78%).  

Domestic travel motivations

With borders around the world closing as a result of the pandemic, domestic demand paved the way for travel’s recovery. Even as international travel becomes accessible again, travelers plan to continue exploring destinations closer to home in 2022 and beyond. Almost eight out of ten (78%) travelers feel encouraged to continue traveling domestically in the future, with 76% saying that doing so has given them a new appreciation for their own country and 74% saying they enjoy traveling domestically more than they expected. 

Travel worries

Just as motivations play a key role in bookers’ decision-making process, so do travel concerns. Overall, safety is the biggest worry for travelers, which is consistent with pre-pandemic trends. But compared to survey data from 2019, worries over quarantine and cleanliness are unsurprisingly more relevant this year. Having to quarantine upon arrival and a lack of cleanliness and hygiene measures at the accommodation were travelers’ second and third biggest travel worries, respectively.

 

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Takeaway
  • Research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who’d taken a trip in the last 12 months and planned to take another in 2022
  • The sample comprised 48,413 respondents from 31 markets 
  • Respondents completed an online survey in January 2022