Travel intentions for 2022 continue to rise, while consumers remain cautious about 2021 vacation plans

NEW YORK–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) –Zeta Global, a cloud-based marketing technology company that enables businesses to acquire, develop and retain customers more effectively, today released travel trends ahead of the second consecutive holiday season during the COVID pandemic -19.

Travel continues to rebound after its 2020 slowdown, with vaccinations and recalls increasing consumer confidence and inspiring significant intention to book airline tickets and hotels in the future. However, according to our Zeta Pulse consumer sentiment survey of approximately 1,000 people in the United States, most people (53.6%) prefer to stay close to home this holiday season, with COVID-19 still being a major concern.

Additionally, with the United States planning to lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign visitors from November (details here), data from Zeta’s partnership with Adara shows that international bookings are starting to increase rapidly.

Below are the top travel trends heading into winter 2021/2022:

Vacation trip

  • People plan to stay closer to home for the holidays:

    • 53.6% of consumers prefer to stay at home, 30% are ready to travel longer distances and 16.36% are still undecided

    • COVID-19 remains the main concern of travelers (39.74%), followed by price / availability of destination tickets (19.23%) and vaccination requirements (10.26%)

    • Travel by car is the preferred means of transport for the second consecutive year (37.14%), compared to travel by plane (25.71%), by cruise (17.14%), by bus (11.43 %) and by train (8.57%)

    • Adults aged 18 to 29 with household income between $ 30,000 and $ 99,000 are most likely to travel during the holiday season

    • Women aged 18 to 29 and 40 to 60 and over are least likely to travel during vacations, citing safety concerns related to COVID-19

  • International bookings for flights and hotels have started to increase, with the timing of the peak correlating with the recent change in US policy allowing entry of fully vaccinated foreign travelers (Adara)

    • Bookings for air travel and international hotels started to increase on September 13 and have increased by around 10 times since then

    • Compared to 2019, international air travel and hotel bookings in 2021 are still down by around 60%

    • Compared to 2020, the demand for flights has multiplied by 2.3 and hotel reservations by 3

    • Major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco are some of the most popular destinations

Hotel / motel reservations

  • Hotel reservations continue to recover at a sustained pace. Reservations in 2021 are higher than in 2020, but haven’t quite reached pre-pandemic levels

    • Compared to 2019 (before the pandemic), hotel reservations in 2021 only decreased by 31% in August-October for registrations in November-December

    • Compared to 2020, there were twice as many bookings made in 2021 (to date) for November-December registrations (this ratio has been constant since the start of summer)

  • Travelers prefer to stay in hotels rather than family / friends or private rentals

    • 48% of respondents plan to stay in hotels or motels during their vacation trip

      • 22.45% budget hotels / motels

      • 20.41% national hotel chains

      • 6.12% of boutique / luxury hotels

    • 24.49% plan to stay with friends or family

    • 18.37% plan to camp or stay at RV sites

    • 8.16% private rentals (AirBnb, VRBO, etc.)

  • Respect for pets has become a critical consumer travel need due to the pandemic-inspired pet ownership boom

    • Pet-friendly keywords continue to dominate hotel / motel searches (such as “pet-friendly hotels / motels; pets stay free, etc.)

    • Safe and clean keywords are becoming less relevant than they were earlier in the pandemic


  • Air travel for vacation is on its way to recovery (Adara)

    • Air travel in 2021 is up 94% from 2020

    • Compared to 2019 (before the pandemic), air travel in 2021 is down 61%

  • However, general interest in air travel is reaching pre-pandemic levels, predicting a boom in 2022

    • Zeta’s air travel intention data shows greatest interest since pre-pandemic travel

    • 46.53% of respondents interested in air travel for the 2021 holiday season (November-December) come mainly from states more prone to harsh winter conditions

About Zeta

Zeta Global Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ZETA) is a leading cloud-based, data-driven marketing technology company that enables businesses to acquire, develop and retain customers. The Company’s Zeta Marketing Platform (the “ZMP”) is the largest omnichannel marketing platform with identity data at its core. ZMP analyzes billions of structured and unstructured data points to predict consumer intent by leveraging sophisticated artificial intelligence to personalize experiences at scale. Founded in 2007 by David A. Steinberg and John Sculley, the company is headquartered in New York. For more information, please visit

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