Global Travel Statistics 
With international travel slowly resuming in 2022, the world reopens its doors to eager travelers looking for adventure across continents.
Whether you're visiting old favorites or exploring new destinations, there is so much to discover and experience. From the lush Amazon rainforest to the rolling hills of Tuscan vineyards, it's finally time to embark on a journey that lasts a lifetime - and create memories with international tourism's renewal.
International tourism, being at the forefront of economic recovery for much of the world, opened up opportunities for exploring and experiencing new cultures that were previously unavailable due to travel restrictions. Still, global travel in 2022 looks vastly different than it had prior to the worldwide pandemic.
For those brave enough and able to travel, 2022 offered an exciting new way of discovering the world's wonders while navigating a new landscape of safety protocols aimed at both preserving health and enriching experiences in areas known for their deep history and culture.
Do you want to know more about travelers' behavior and preferences in 2022? Proceed reading and learn which parts of the world were the most popular, whether travelers were ready to have expansive trips and other travel trends of this year!
International Tourism - Top Statistics to Know
While international tourism has been greatly impacted by the pandemic, 2022 was a year of revitalization. International tourism made a strong comeback compared to 2021, with international travelers eager to start exploring the world again after the uncertainty of the past year.
During the period from January to July 2022, international travel reached 57% of its pre-pandemic level.
During the first 7 months of the year, around 474 million people had international trips, in comparison to only 175 million people during the same period in 2021.
Summer vacations showed a high eagerness to experience a sense of normalcy again and explore international destinations. 36% of international trips for these months were recorded in June and July 2022 combined - it is two times more than in the previous year.
Some regions experienced growth in visitors as restrictions on international trips eased. As of 19 September 2022, 86 countries already had no COVID-19-related restrictions.
Europe had an unprecedented spike in visitors - 306 million people (65% of all visitors). It was visited by 190% more travelers than in the first seven months of the last year.
The Middle East arrivals increased to almost four times in January-July 2022 (+287%) and exceeded the pre-pandemic level in July (+3%).
Saudi Arabia achieved outstanding results (+121%) following the Hajj pilgrimage.
The Americas (+103%) and Africa (+171%) also had a considerable rise in the first 7 months compared to 2021 and reached respective 65% and 60% of their 2019 result.
Even though Asia and the Pacific increased the number of travelers more than twice during this period (+165%), they had only 86% below their 2019 outcome, as the restrictions for non-essential travel are still there.
Travel Costs: How Much People Spent in 2022
Despite the hard years of the pandemic and the decrease in income for many, most people are not ready to give up on traveling and save their money for something else.
Moreover, in 2022, 40% of American travelers not only wanted to have new trips but also wished to make them better:
- 15% are willing to have a whole luxurious experience
- 16% want to go for a higher level of accommodation and flights
- 32% intend to visit the destinations from their dream vacation list
If speaking on preferences among different age groups, young adults are more prone to spend their savings on international trips, as they have a more risk-taking attitude, want to benefit from learning from other cultures, and get to know what education and working opportunities other countries offer.
This way, 80% of travelers aged between 18-34 had ambitious travel plans, while for people over the age of 50, the index has reached only 56%. It's also revealed that older people would better spend their money on fancy restaurants rather than a new trip.
Scheduling trips in 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact not only on the amount of money people are willing to spend on traveling but also on planning trips as well. As for whether to schedule the trip in advance, opinions are divided:
- 37% of travelers get less impulsive about traveling and prefer to plan their trips beforehand;
- 26% stated that they want to be more flexible and adaptive and do what seems right in a particular situation;
- 25% expressed an even stronger willingness to have spontaneous trips than ever before; they don't want to wait for the future and wish to use every opportunity they have to travel and visit the countries on their bucket list.
Traveling may look a bit different after the pandemic, with changes in protocols for entering countries and moderated participation in traditional tourist hot spots. However, these changes don't prevent us from vacating and exploring; it just means that some extra planning and research will be required.
Discovering something new while traveling in 2022
As there were travel restrictions because of the pandemic, visitors couldn't travel freely but had enough time to analyze their travel experience and realize what new things they wanted to try during their trips.
40% of Americans are willing to try dishes and cuisine they have never eaten before. It's no wonder, as new flavors stay in our memory forever and is what make us closer to the culture of the country we are visiting. Even after years, the taste can remind you of the trip you once had!
23% are determined to go for hidden gems - destinations that are not as popular among tourists as many others. Such places can create a unique experience and be explored in a convenient way without streams of people.
22% are eager to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zone.
19% got more independent during lockdowns and now feel enough confidence to travel solo.
Others want to try new activities while traveling:
- 19% are excited to sleep outside;
- 14% would like to go to the local music festival;
- 11% are not afraid to go for high-adrenaline activities.
Increased interest in sustainable travel
The pandemic made us think more about our health and well-being, which are hugely influenced by the state of our environment.
We have become more conscious of environmental sustainability. That's why already 61% of travelers now prefer sustainable travel options.
69% expect the travel industry to be focused on ecologically friendly solutions. Moreover, 40% plan to visit less popular destinations to eliminate overcrowding.
It is anticipated that during 2021-2025 the sustainable travel market in the business travel & tourism sector will increase by $235.21 billion.
Also, a global survey revealed that young people are more aware of the sustainability of their trips: 56% of Gen Z and 51% of millennials compared to 49% of Gen X and 46% of Baby Boomers.
77% of travelers aged 18-29 make their travel decisions based on the impact they have on the environment.
The global pandemic has brought many aspects of our lives to a halt, but it doesn't mean we can't continue to dream about and plan for future travels.
According to the travel statistics for 2022, international travel is slowly but steadily reaching its pre-pandemic level, especially in Europe. Many people are more eager than ever to get out there and explore again.
Older people may be cautious about spending money on non-essential items like travel. Still, young adults have big travel plans and are ready to spend their money on a luxurious vacation.
While some travelers got less impulsive after the pandemic and required more time to plan their itinerary, others didn't want to miss a minute and were excited about spontaneous trips.
The majority of travelers are also concerned about the environment, so they seek sustainable travel options, especially for younger generations.
Moreover, for most people, part of the joy of traveling is getting outside their comfort zone. So they are not afraid to try something new: whether it is trying high-adrenaline activities, visiting unpopular travel destinations, traveling alone, or sleeping outside. With a little planning and creativity, many managed to make their travel dreams a reality in 2022.
Sustainable Tourism Market 2023-2027