“While ‘revenge travel’ is the hot new term, it explains exactly what travellers have been saying since the pandemic started. We will no longer take for granted that there will always be a flight tomorrow and an open border waiting to greet us. We will make up for the lost time and experiences with a vengeance.” - Konrad Waliszewski- Co-Founder and CEO of Tripscout.
Text: Ophelia Wu
As borders slowly open with fewer restrictions, how do you feel about it? After a standstill of nearly two years, what do you hear most among your peers? “Gosh, I miss travelling”. People travel for all sorts of reasons. Some seek adventure in the unknown, some want a change of scene, some find inspiration through culture, art, and historical heritage. Of course, it’s always nice to explore a new city, and we all have that wanderlust bug.
The fear of missing out
After the restriction comes the revenge travel. What is revenge travel? Have you heard of revenge buying? “The phenomenon was first verified in China in the 1980s …describes the sudden demand for foreign branded products after China’s opening to international trade in 1976 … occurred because the Chinese had been deprived of purchasing western products for many decades due to poverty and deprivation during the Cultural Revolution.” 1So it’s an increase in demand after deprivation.
It is only natural that we crave the missing thrill of an expedition, the scent and air of a foreign place, and immerse in different cultures after being deprived for long. There is also a sense of FOMO and lots of catching up entailed- what has changed? Have new cafes and restaurants been popping up in a once buzzing city? How have your loved ones who are in a different country been? Very few would say no to any travel opportunities presented to them if budget is not an issue. During the lockdown, some probably had saved up more than they usually would- hence a bigger budget for travelling when allowed.
According to Reuters, following the announcement of lifting COVID-19 travel restrictions in the United States, travel websites reported searches related to international travel to the United States spiked 48%, a 28% increase in UK travellers and a 24% increase in French travellers searching for hotels in the United States, comparing Oct. 8-10 to Oct. 15-17.2 Echoing Co-founder and CEO of travel app Tripscout Konrad Waliszewski said while ‘revenge travel’ is the hot new term…we are no longer going to take for granted that there will always be a flight tomorrow and an open border waiting to greet us. We will make up for the lost time and experiences with a vengeance.3
"Since the end of 2020, we were seeing a large increase in family reunion bookings for the 2021–2022 holiday season, with a 17% increase compared to the 2019 holiday season. This shows us that families are really looking forward to reconnecting after so much time spent apart and coming together for the holidays, as so many plans were cancelled in 2020." - Carolyne Doyon, president and CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean
A whole new world
The pandemic is not over yet, but we see a whole new world emerging on the horizon.
As revenge travelling surged, the preferences of travels had evolved since. Industry experts and travel websites predicted tourism trends for 2022, pointing to a new direction: sustainable travel, local community connection, road travels, domestic travels, camping and nature exploring getaways. “We’re seeing the biggest excitement for post-pandemic revenge travel initially to the sun and sand destinations,” Waliszewski said. “Everyone has had a hard year, so while they’re craving new cultures and adventures, they want to give themselves a much-needed break first… People are most excited to revenge travel to places where they can spend a lot of time outdoors without a mask.”
Denmark, a country known for its variety of nature options, has seen a surge in domestic tourism too. According to a survey in August 2021 on the website statista.com, between January 2019- June 2021, the number of international and domestic tourist arrivals has significantly changed trends.
The lockdown also allowed space and time for industry stakeholders and travellers to rethink what it means to travel again when borders reopen and how they want to travel. What is the meaning of travelling for you now? And that is a question only you know the answer to. Wherever you revenge travel to next, enjoy and stay safe.
1Lins, S. et al. (2021) ‘From panic to revenge: Compensatory buying behaviours during the pandemic’, International Journal of Social Psychiatry. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00207640211002557 (Accessed: 21/October/2021)