While we hope that you all are having a fantastic year so far, and with travel and tourism lifting its spirits up we collectively hope to make the rest of the year even more remarkable. The world is waiting eagerly to travel around and take home a bunch of memories. The stalwarts of travel trade come forward and speak while appealing to its patrons to take a step forward and bring things back on rails. The pandemic has indeed left an indelible mark on all of us, but like they say the show must go on. So let’s buckle up our shoes and hope for a thrilling 2022. Have a nice time reading this piece.
The pandemic has prompted travellers to adopt more sustainable and conscious travel itineraries. Travel is no longer a luxury but a necessity now. Travellers are prepared to spend more money on travel experiences, services, and accommodations that ensure their wellbeing. Wellness tourism will be a key segment to look out for this year. Wellness travellers tend to be more affluent, educated, and well-travelled. The affluent travellers are looking at more control over their itineraries with luxury getaways to off-beats destinations. 2022 is the year where people will go all-out and take up every travel opportunity that arises without waiting for tomorrow.
A significant focus has to be put on immediate bookings, as individuals are not booking as far in advance as they were prior to the outbreak. The last two years have been marked by uncertainty, which is expected to pervade one’s travel habits. Dubai and Maldives are still the top outbound destinations from India as of now with HNIs leading the way. Luxury travellers are increasingly picking and choosing their destination on the basis of perceived safety and the demand for the segment is rising among other prominent trends such as workcations, staycations, homestays and wellness.
The main key focus area for 2022 is definitely promoting luxury itineraries. Luxury travellers will be looking for more intimate and curated tailormade experiences. We have witnessed a phenomenal response from our partners especially with luxury clientele travelling to Dubai. At the moment, Dubai is the biggest market for this segment. Weddings should follow the trend soon; destination weddings at Ciragan Palace Kempinski, The Apurva Kempinski Bali and Marsa Malaz Kempinski Doha make the ideal destination for a luxurious wedding.
We have recently added the global portfolio of Swiss-BelHotel International under our umbrella; the hotel chain is ranked amongst the world’s top 125 international hotel management companies. We also have two new recently unveiled properties of Emaar Hospitality Group; Address Istanbul and Vida Beach Resort, Bahrain.
The overall sentiment towards travel seems to be positively inclined as people have now embraced the fact that the world is traversing a pandemic, and with vaccinations and other precautions in place, the way people travel has simply been redefined. To make up for lost vacation time, I believe 2022 will be the year when people will go out seeking experiential travel. Therefore, the demand for closer-to-nature destinations and immersive travel experiences is expected to increase.
A recent survey stated 68 per cent of Indian travellers plan to travel domestically this year while 39 per cent are expected to travel internationally. The average spend per trip is expected to be up in 2022 as compared to the pre-pandemic time with the luxury travel market also likely to grow. We do see that leisure travel will see an uptick in 2022 as people want to separate work from vacation time. With the work-from-anywhere trend still in place, travellers will be looking for a longer stay with affordable options for workcations. That said, be it a solo travel break or with friends and family, safety and hygiene and limited contact with people outside of one’s circle have now become the new travel norm.
We have seen a growing interest towards our clients in key short-haul destinations in the Middle East and South Asia. Sharjah and Maldives seem to be an obvious choice for Indian travellers because of their close proximity from home and also because both the destinations have abundance to offer.
Over the last two years, Maldives has been increasingly frequented by Indians as its unique one-island-one-resort concept allows for a safe and secluded holiday. Despite the pandemic, it has been the most preferred destination for Indian travellers and we are confident and optimistic that we will achieve our goal of making India the top source market for Maldives for the third consecutive year in 2022.
It’s great that travel restrictions are now being eased in many countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and others. In fact, people have already started rolling out packages for the USA and the UK. We are also hoping for international commercial flights to resume soon, and there is expected to be a large traffic from India towards these regions which are very popular amongst Indians. As travel is now beginning to recover, our endeavour is to keep our clients attractive and top-of-mind for Indian travellers.
We always make sure we are well updated on the short and long term trends in the global travel industry. The Maldives had always held immense potential for MICE (meetings. incentive, conference, events), and exciting global events had always been at home in the Maldives by parties from various countries. We have recently launched our campaign to reinvigorate MICE tourism in the Maldives and promote the Maldives as a leading destination for MICE tourism. We believe that after almost two years of lockdowns and isolation, corporations and companies are prepared to come together and reconnect in person. However, they are only ready to do so in safety, serenity, and seclusion. That’s where the Maldives come in. The Maldives is an island nation and so in a unique position thanks to our geography of naturally socially distanced scattered islands. Imagine a business meeting on a private beach,or a conference on the powdery white sands of a Maldivian island.
Traveller profiles are also changing, and one of the fastest growing traveller profiles is the conscious traveller. Travellers want to make conscious decisions that enhance and empower their lives, and the communities in which they spend their holidays. They want to immerse themselves in the culture, and take home something of value;an experience and an understanding of another culture and way of life. With that, theMaldives officially launched homestay tourism this year. Homestay tourism is the nextstep for tourists to immerse themselves in the Maldivian culture and way of life, one that lives in harmony with the natural environment. We believe we will find great success in these endeavours.
As we have done before, we are going to continue promoting the phenomenal products and experiences that make the Maldives such an incredibly special destination. The fact that we were able to secure the title of ‘World’s LeadingDestination’ again last year, for the second year in a row, demonstrates that we have successfully shared with our visitors what makes Maldives so special. We believe that the Maldives offers a slice of paradise for all walks of life. We have four tourism products: resorts, guesthouses, liveaboards, and hotels.
The Maldives sets itself apart from other destinations because even our budget accommodation options do not cut costs. Our sun, sand, and sea are unparalleled in beauty. Our hospitality is unyielding in nature. Travellers will experience all of it, regardless of whichever property they choose to stay in.This year, 2022, is also the Golden Jubilee Year of Maldivian Tourism. We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary throughout the entire year with a variety of activities and experiences. Travellers coming to the Maldives this year are surely in for a treat if they join us during these celebrations. Our latest products and experiences are our MICE promotions and the introduction of homestay tourism. With these fresh takes on established products and brand new experiences, we are on our way to further diversify the experiences that visitors can enjoy in the Maldives. We are expanding and diversifying, and we invite all to visit the Maldives and find out for themselves what makes the Maldives so special.
“I strongly believe the wish to travel is more present than ever before, travelling is part of self-care and emotional balance. The new consumer will search for less crowded destinations with more tranquillity, offering proximity with nature and wellbeing, here Portugal has a huge potential and product offering.”
The Portuguese Atlantic is a healing ocean. The sea is an inexhaustible source of wealth that has always inspired Portugal and its part of our heritage. More than even before, it’s important to indulge yourself and this certainly applies when it comes to your health and wellbeing. It’s no coincidence that we feel good when we’re by the sea and the therapeutic properties of Atlantic waters that bathe the Portuguese coast are a therapeutically source of balance.
With its almost 900 km of coastline not to forget Madeira and Azores islands, Portugal is well known for its thalassotherapy centres integrated in luxury resorts and high quality hotels, located in areas of great natural beauty and stillness, allowing one to take advantage of leisure time to engage in sports or outdoor activities.
The year 2022 will be more of an exploration year. Travel trends and patterns have shifted drastically as a result of the pandemic. In the year 2021, workcations, homestays and other forms of holidays emerged. Expats, digital nomads and retirees have chosen Portugal as the best country to live in for 2022. Its mild weather, culture, food, natural beauty and high quality of life, it has great accessibility as the quality of roads are extremely good, offering contrasting landscapes within the 5 mainland regions. People in Portugal are very friendly, love to welcome guests, share great stories and local tips and we are fluent in English language.
Portugal offers a huge variety to choose from its economical to luxurious stays. It offers affordable rates to its travellers. No matter what your budget is, the country has something to offer from affordable to luxurious transportation, food & beer, stays etc. One can travel within the cities on foot and can enjoy amazing landscapes and attractions available for all ages and types.
No matter where you are in Portugal, there is always a natural park close by. The country is an amazing destination for environment lovers. One can also enjoy adventure activities, romantic locales, amazing gastronomy & world famous wine in this country. If you are looking out for some outdoor activities, Portugal has some amazing certified trails for cycling. Hiking, surfing, bird & dolphin watching, etc. are some of the top activities that travellers like.
We are an all year around destination, Portugal is a land of romance, a memorable honeymoon or wedding destination. We offer ideal Indian wedding sites, whether it’s a fairy-tale engagement at a palace in Sintra, a rustic wedding in the Douro valley vineyards or a breathtaking beach reception on the Algarve coast. The destination combines luxury, elegance, history and beautiful landscape with refined taste.
We are a country of seven beautiful contrasting regions. Portuguese are very passionate about their country, origins and achievements. Our historical background is amazing, and that path made us a very friendly country, our people are natural born hosts, we are storytellers. One can have great local experiences in Portugal from our cuisine and amazing wines, nature, golden beaches with amazing sunsets, UNESCO heritage and history, monuments, mediaeval castles, cobblestone villages, family fun in water parks or dolphin and whale watching. Our cities besides the trendiness, the Michelin restaurants offering, are a wonderful tax free shopping destination with a 23% VAT return.
We are promoting Portugal as the destination that we are, authentic, diverse, attractive, inclusive and safe.Portugal is already one of the most approached destinations by international travellers, with 7 regions within easy reach Madeira, Azores, Alentejo, Algarve, Lisbon region Porto and the North. The country’s history and culture, gastronomy and wines, are among the main attractions, not to mention the beaches, the natural parks and reserves, geoparks and biosphere reserves, indeed we offer great cycling and walking certified trails in contrasting landscapes, golf, paths of faith and, above all, the Portuguese people, who are seen as affable, open and sincere.We invite Indians to include Portugal in their holiday plans and they will be surprised with diversity of experiences to be enjoyed.
We know our Indian guests love to cruise, and we’re seeing a really positive response to the acceleration of the vaccine rollout, our comprehensive health and safety protocols together with our global return to service. Europe remains incredibly popular – particularly the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltics – as well as Alaskan voyages out of Seattle.Amongst Indian cruisers, we are also seeing the continuing rise of group travel, whether that’s a corporate or special interest group, or multigenerational family groups, where families, including kids and grandparents, are all travelling together. Our ship-within-a-ship concept The Haven by Norwegian is a top pick for such groups.And as people look to make up for lost time and to reconnect with the world and loved ones in an authentic way, they are seeking out more mindful and meaningful travel options. For agents with clients seeking this type of travel experience, cruising with NCL is the perfect option, with longer voyages to unique destinations, allowing travellers to slow down and enjoy being present in the moment.
Last year we unveiled our highly anticipated Prima Class, our first new class of vessels for NCL in nearly 10 years. Norwegian Prima launches later this year as the first of six ships to debut over six years, and she will truly be a game-changer for the cruise industry. As the most spacious new cruise ship in the premium and contemporary categories, agents and clients alike
will be inspired by her bucket-list itineraries to some of Northern Europe’s most vibrant destinations, like Norway and Iceland. Norwegian Prima offers more wide-open spaces, elevated service, thoughtful and stunning design together with an incredible variety of new experiences. Boasting the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new cruise ship in her competitive set, it’s no surprise that Norwegian Prima quickly became our most in-demand ship ever, with record bookings on the first day and week of sales!We’re also looking forward to the debut of Norwegian Viva, the second ship in our Prima Class. She will sail remarkable Mediterranean itineraries starting May 2023 and will mirror the upscale design and structure of her record-breaking sister ship. Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva will feature Ocean Boulevard, the 44,000 square foot outdoor walkway which wraps around the entire ship; Indulge Food Hall featuring 11 varieties of eateries; The Concourse boasting an outdoor sculpture garden; expansive pool decks, endless ocean views at Infinity Beach and Oceanwalk, where glass bridges let guest walk on air, over water.Plus, both world-class vessels will boast a redefined ‘The Haven’ by Norwegian, designed by PieroLissoni, one of Italy’s most renowned designers and featuring an expansive sundeck, a stunning infinity pool overlooking the ship’s wake and an outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.
This year we’re thrilled to be bringing eight ships to Europe, offering more choice for Indian guests in this incredible part of the world than ever before. Norwegian Prima of course debuts in Northern Europe and sailing to bucket-list destinations such as the land of fire and ice – Iceland – and taking in the stunning natural beauty of the Norwegian Fjords. Plus, we’ll be bringing some of our newest ships in the fleet to the region including Norwegian Getaway, Epic and Escape – marking her debut in Europe this year. Together, they will offer show-stopping voyages to the Greek Islands, The Mediterranean, The Baltics and Northern Europe. We’re also doubling down on our valued trade partnerships as part of our Partner’s First philosophy. Our recently launched Indian Book-A-BDM platform is proving very popular amongst trade partners, allowing
them to connect with our team in a way and at a time that suits them. In addition, we’ll be continuing to encourage our trade partners to make the most of the brand-new dedicated Norwegian Central Asia platform, offering a one-stop-shop for our Indian travel partners to seamlessly learn about, market and connect with NCL. There are plenty of perks to be enjoyed by logging in, including access to NCL’s award-winning travel agent training platform, NCL University (NCLU). The knowledge hub provides in-depth course content covering NCL’s fleet of innovative ships, as well as itinerary insights and destinations we sail to. Plus, valued travel partners can unlock reduced rates of up to 30% off their own NCL cruise as part of the reduced rate learning incentive program, which awards the completion of different levels of NCLU course modules.
And finally, don’t miss our popular promotion in India called ‘Free At Sea’ that allows travellers to select five free offers including free open bar, free specialty dining package, free wi-fi and more. This offer is valued at up to US$2,980* and is available for a limited time only.
2022 looks set to get travel back in motion, slowly but surely. We foresee a need for travellers to opt for nature travel, lakes, mountains, spa retreats. Experiential travel will gain more momentum and we should see a trend with travellers wanting to add unique experiences and moments to their travel itineraries. FITs and small travel groups will see an increase. We will be promoting Austria as a complete destination. We have everything to offer than an Indian traveller will be looking for in 2022 and we look to welcome our travellers back to Austria. Our new logo urges the traveller to “Feel the Spark” in Austria and our goal will be to enable every traveller to experience the natural beauty, culture, warmth and hospitality that Austria has to offer and return refreshed and rejuvenated from their holiday to Austria.
We have constantly been reinventing our products and adding to them to create new experiences for our travellers. In 2022 in addition to our main destinations, we look to lure the Indian traveller off beaten paths, nature trails, adventure activities and soaking in nature to the fullest. Cycling tours, boat tours, Nature trails and Hiking, mountain activities, vineyard experiences and self-drive options will be among what we put forth to our travellers in 2022.