Hiking Azores.

Working as a hiking guide on the Azores. (Photo by Benny Thaibert.)

Many people have asked me if tourism has made a comeback since the great lockdown. The answer is a big yes from me. I have never had more job offers than right now.

When 2022 started my trade, which is travel & tourism, was just stated to recover from Covid lockdowns.  Many people asked themselves if it would take a long time for the trade to recover. I have previously argued in a post from two years ago, that travel & tourism would bounce back fast, simply because it’s an industry that is driven by passion. And now, two years later, I think I can say that I was right 🙂 . You can read my blogpost from May 2020 on this link.

My job actually started to bounce back already in September 2021, where I started having tour groups going on hiking holidays on the Azores. In 2022 that just kept going, while more destinations were added to my work list. Half way into 2022, I had to say no to almost all clients asking me if I could work for them, as I was fully booked. But I helped a few companies to find other tour leaders for their trips.

Amalfi coast.

I called the Amalfi Coast for my home, for a few weeks in 2022.

Europe has bounced back big time, while not so much the overseas destinations.

I  was working almost entirely in Europe in 2022. The Europeans tourists wanted to travel more than ever before. But the vast majority decided to stick to traveling within Europe. Talking to them I could hear that it was the fear of lockdowns and maybe spending the holiday behind masks, that stopped them from going to places such as Asia, Australia and the Caribbean, more than it was fear of getting Covid. The sad situation in Russia and Ukraine has certainly also played a part in tourists not going to certain places.

I also found that smaller destinations. Especially island destinations, were getting more and more popular in 2022. Again, I am sure that it has to do with the risk of a lockdown being smaller on a small island, compared to a big city.

Azores hiking

The Azores was the destination where I did the most work in 2022.

Active holidays were a big thing in 2022.

I found that active holidays provided the most growth for me in 2022. I led several tour in destinations such as The Azores, Madeira, the Amalfi coast and Northern Portugal. Before 2020, roughly one third of my tour leading jobs were active holidays, that included things like hiking and cycling. In 2022 that number roughly doubled. And I now have around two thirds of my trips being active holidays. I do not see this trend slowing down at all. The reason is most likely that a lot of people got out in nature during the lockdown, with many indoor activities being shut down. And now that the world has reopened, they have kept their active habits and take them along when they go on holiday. 

suspension bridge Portugal.

Taking a group across a huge suspension bridge in Portugal.

2023 is already booked solid for me.

As I am sitting here on the brink of the new year, I am already looking at a work calendar that is booked pretty solid with tours, for most of 2023. I even have bookings for 2024 already. And the overseas trips seem to be returning this year, when looking at the job offers I am getting from various companies. So despite the situation in Russia/Ukraine still being very sad, then I am optimistic for the world of tourism in 2023. Almost everyone I know is busy planning trips abroad. I am too. Next week, I will be going to Malta for a little holiday, before starting my work year in February, with some tours on the island of madeira.

Istanbul

I was in Istanbul twice in 2022. Always a joy to be back in that fantastic city.

I hope that 2023 will prove fruitful to everyone else in the world of Travel and Tourism.

Happy New Years to everyone 🙂 .

1 Comment

  1. I think you’re right that it’s concerns about Covid precautions and rules that deter people from travelling to some destinations, rather than fear of catching Covid. Certainly that played a part in our decision not to go to Sri Lanka in the early part of 2022, as masks were required there even out of doors and we didn’t like the idea of sightseeing in 40 degree heat wearing a mask!

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