So 2021 was a funny time for travel, but we’re crossing out fingers than things might be a little bit more normal next year.
But we can’t pretend that the last two years haven’t drastically changed the face of the travel industry.
People are looking for slower, more climate-friendly, ethical holidays, including silent safaris and train journeys.
Plus we expect big single-trip tours of countries to become more popular, as people want to experience a place more in-depth (and cut the faff of crossing borders).
But there are also some exciting events next year, including the long-awaited opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo and a Studio Ghibli theme park in Nagoya.
Here are our predications for the hot destinations and trends of 2022:
Until now, Nagoya’s gardens, good restaurants and striking Shinto shrines have struggled to divert tourists from Tokyo or nearby Kyoto despite its stop on the bullet-train line between those fellow cities.
Slated for autumn, the arrival of Ghibli Park ought to change all that (check japan.
travel for updates).
The cult animation studio’s first theme park promises areas based around five Ghibli films plus a restaurant inspired by Spirited Away.
Healing cake, anyone?
Not only will Egypt celebrate a century of independence in 2022 but it’s also 100 years since Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Talking of which, Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum – where that tomb’s treasures will be displayed for the first time – is now scheduled to open in November.
Long before then, February’s belated release of Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie whodunnit, Death On The Nile, should also arouse interest in Egyptian river cruises. Combine one of those with Cairo on a nine-night highlights tour.
In autonomous northern Serbia, Novi Sad is a 2022 co-European Capital of Culture (the others are Kaunas in Lithuania and Esch in Luxembourg).
Set for a burst of exhibitions and installations, it’s already engrossing, courtesy of baroque buildings, car-free shopping streets and liberal lane-way bars.
Just south-east, mighty Petrovaradin Fortress – where summer’s Exit music festival is held – looms over the Danube river as it snakes towards a sandy beach.
Sir Ernest Shackleton visited ‘The Ice’ three times while leading British expeditions so why not let him inspire your first trip there?
Most Antarctica trips depart from Ushuaia, on South America’s tip, and have you meeting seals and penguins, and some end on the jagged island of South Georgia, where Shackleton’s buried (January 5 marks the centenary of his death at the start of his final trip).
Expect to pay north of £5,000pp on the most affordable trips, including those run by G Adventures.
Meet 2022’s hottest cultural destination.
Just opened on the waterfront of Norway’s capital is Munch, an upgraded gallery devoted to painter Edvard that tilts forward dramatically.
Here you’ll find two versions of masterpiece The Scream.
To see his original – plus Chinese porcelain, Picassos and Romanesque tapestries – wait until June when the revamped National Museum will finally debut nearby.
Be it eco-consciousness or simply an aversion to the faff-filled logistics currently necessary when visiting anywhere abroad, let alone multiple destinations, single-country big trips are on the rise according to Audley Travel.
One option is Brazil, which celebrates 200 years of independence in September. A classic trip combines Rio de Janeiro, the massive Iguazu Falls and Bahia’s idyllic beaches.
African safaris’ biggest green development concerns battery-powered 4x4s, whose introduction at a handful of camps has guests seeing more animals at closer proximity.
‘Silent safaris’ offer an altogether enhanced experience, as animals are more relaxed.
With EVs expensive for lodges to run, costs can be high but the upsides are persuasive.
Trains continue to be all the rage. In Italy, restored 1960s Arlecchino trains have begun operating scenic routes, as has Belmond’s Wes Anderson-designed British Pullman carriage in the UK.
The Rocky Mountaineer now boasts a first American route, while Nightjet and Regiojet’s new European services are deliberately affordable. Ask rail specialist Ffestiniog Travel for details.
Some travel firms have begun revealing each holiday’s exact environmental footprint.
‘Carbon labelling’ has been adopted by Spain and Latin American experts Pura Aventura, adventure company Exodus and activity-loving Much Better Adventures, whose new tours include a nine-night challenge summiting seven volcanoes in Nicaragua.
Staying in 2020
‘Workations’? Pah. In fact, the WFH trend has so blurred our work/life boundaries that there’s a growing thirst for holidays spent doing diddly squat.
73% of those recently surveyed by Booking.com admitted plotting a strictly work-free break, while nearly half of people polled by World Travel Market intended to take slumberous fly-and-flop escapes.
The Post Office’s Travel Money division says Mauritius makes a savvy winter-sun option in 2022, as its currency has lately plummeted versus the pound.
Don’t forget your chance to win a luxury Mediterranean cruise for two!
Sign up to a brilliant travel newsletter The Getaway and you could win yourself the ultimate nautical Christmas present – a luxury cruise for two around the Mediterranean.
The prize is for sailings on a Celebrity Cruises ship between April and June 2022, which means you could spend your spring floating around the gorgeous walled city of Dubrovnik and getting your Game Of Thrones fix, or soaking up the breathtaking beauty of the Greek islands.
To find out more and be in with a chance of winning, visit metro.co.uk/getawaycomp
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