“They take revenge” – but not on a specific person or institution, but during the gloomy period of the pandemic, when traveling was very difficult. Now they are making up for lost months, and with a vengeance. Tourists are going farther and farther, in ever larger groups. They spend what they managed to save during the lockdowns without regret. The trend, dubbed revenge travel, is now two years old, but should be even more noticeable in the coming months.
Pandemic period COVID-19 was a time of great collapse of the tourism industry. The World Tourism Organization estimated that in 2020 and in the first months of 2021, the number of foreign trips decreased globally by 73%. This means that over a billion travelers have temporarily disappeared from the market.
The following months were slightly better, but the real rebound in the tourism industry was recorded only a year later. According to ACI Europe (Airports Council International – ed.) data, air traffic on the Old Continent increased by almost 250% in the first half of 2022. compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
Vengeance Journey – What is it?
In 2023, the reconstruction of the market continues. Data from the Skyscanner flight search engine show that almost half (41%) of tourists intend to spend more money on trips than a year ago. Such plans are part of a trend called revenge travel. “It’s a popular social media term that originated in 2021 as the world began to reopen and people decided to make up for lost time,” Erika Richter, vice president of the American Society of Travel Advisors, told CNN. “It’s another way of saying, ‘Hey, life is short. I want to book this trip. I want to spend more time with my family. I want to connect with people and nature. I want to explore the world and seek experiences that make me feel alive.'” added Richter, who at the same time avoided using the phrase “journey of revenge.”
Nor is another expert quoted by CNN, Rory Boland of market research organization Which?, a fan of the phrase. – I don’t think “revenge” is a good word for what travel is all about. (…) However, I think that this phrase is trying to capture the desire of many people to be able to travel again, visit new places and meet people,’ said Boland.
How tourists take revenge
The Euronews portal explains that tourists “take revenge” in various ways. “Some choose the trips of a lifetime, others long-awaited family trips. But it’s not about returning to someone – or something – but about regaining lost time and experiences” – emphasized in the Euronews article. “There is no doubt that the revenge trip is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has to do with the lifting of restrictions.”
Euronews also points out that after the lifting of restrictions, many tourists changed their priorities. Pro-health trips or trips related to the recently fashionable slogan “wellbeing”, which simply means taking care of well-being, are very popular. Data from The Global Wellness Institute cited by the portal indicate that the market of “wellness tourism” by 2025 is expected to grow to over 20 percent, i.e. more than any other branch of this sector.
Tourism still below pre-pandemic levels
The Economist magazine points out that although the growth in the tourism industry is actually very clear, the market will have to wait for the return to pre-pandemic levels. According to the data cited by the newspaper, this year the number of people traveling abroad on a global scale will amount to 1.6 billion. In 2019, there were 1.8 billion such tourists. The “Economist” indicates as factors hindering the industry’s return to the condition from four years ago war in Ukraine and China’s strict “zero COVID” policy, which the local government only started to move away from a few months ago.
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