Strongest sales month since the pandemic started for G Adventures in January 2022
G Adventures has recorded its highest sales month since the pandemic began, with January bookings from the UK exceeding expectations. Despite the uncertainty caused by Omicron in the new year, the adventure operator saw confidence grow throughout the month, with travellers booking a broad range of travel experiences across the operator’s 11 travel styles.
Brain Young, managing director EMEA, G Adventures said January’s performance is a great indicator that traveller confidence is growing and the flood gates of pent-up demand, generated by the pandemic, are starting to open.
“January is renowned for being one of the most important sales months for travel, and this year it definitely didn’t disappoint. We’ve seen the highest sales since the pandemic started, with many travellers are booking tours set to depart before the end of April, showing the huge desire among British travellers to get back on the road. We’re expecting to see this intent to book increase as more destinations, in particular Asian favourites such as Thailand and Vietnam, relax restrictions for British travellers.
We’ve seen strong sales across all our travel styles, in particular our Classic, 18-to-Thirtysomethings and Active styles, with travellers clearly encouraged by the variety of product we have on sale and the experience we’ve gained since we relaunched our tours in September 2020. Having safely run thousands of trips, it’s fantastic to see an increase in our customer satisfaction in 2021, as travellers recognise all the extra measures we have put in place to ensure their safety,” Young continues.
Here are the top January booking trends and traveller insights from G Adventures:
Travellers looking to travel as soon as possible:
The uncertainty around travel caused lead times to rise throughout the pandemic as travellers were unsure when they would be able to enter different destinations. G Adventures has seen these lead times reduce in their January sales, with 40% of bookings from UK travellers being made for trips departing before the end of April. It’s clear that travellers are eager to hit the road as soon as possible and are looking to destinations with lower entry requirements such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru as well as Europe in the short term.
Young travellers are among top bookers:
As the last to receive vaccines and many being forced to work or study from home, there is huge pent up demand among youth travellers, who are hungry to travel and reconnect with other young travellers. With an incredible selection of adventures on offer for young travellers as part of the 18-to-Thirtysomethings travel style, combined with the newly-launched ‘Roamies’ collection, G Adventures is seeing huge demand from travellers aged 18 to 35, with a small increase in young travellers opting to travel alone.
A study undertaken by G Adventures in 2021 showed that the need for social connection amongst young travellers was stronger than ever, with 64 per cent* of UK respondents aged 18-34 saying they were likely to try a hostel experience following the pandemic. The launch of the new Roamies collection, developed in partnership with Hostelworld has catered to this trend, with the UK being the top booking region for the new travel style in January.
Human contact helps build confidence:
With the need to navigate entry requirements, border restrictions and testing, travel can still seem overwhelming for some travellers. G Adventures has seen a larger percentage of bookings through ‘offline bookings’, with travellers choosing options where they have interaction with an expert or agent over booking online. Pre-pandemic two thirds of bookings came through online channels, but the adventure specialist is reporting closer to 50% in January 2022 as travellers turn to experts to feel confident in their booking. G Adventures increased its contact centre headcount by 70% ahead of January to support agents and travellers, which saw call and live chat wait times reduce to pre-pandemic levels.
Active travel trend is here to stay:
Early on in the pandemic, G Adventures recorded an increase in web searches for Active adventures, including Everest Base Camp Trek and Mt Kilimanjaro. As travel restarted, this interest translated into sales, which the operator coined the ‘Carpe Diem Effect’. It was clear that travellers were eager to lock in those achievement based holidays, which they may have put off in previous years and made them feel they were making the most of their holiday time. This trend has continued in 2022, as the Active travel style moved up to third place for bookings made in January 2022 versus 2019. Destinations such as Nepal, Tanzania and Peru are most popular as travellers look to seize the day and complete a challenge of a lifetime.
New restrictions haven’t impacted traveller experience:
Having operated trips since September 2020, G Adventures has safely run thousands of trips over the past 18 months. With increased safety protocols in play as part of the operator’s Travel with Confidence policy, which includes mask wearing and increased sanitisation, the operator recorded a 5% increase in its NPS score in 2021, showing these increased measures were not negatively impacting the overall traveller experience.
High potential for Asia:
Despite many popular destinations, including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia being closed or heavily restricted for travellers, Asia continued to be G Adventures’ second most popular region in January, with particular interest from travellers aged 50 to 70 years. While travellers are booking with longer lead times, this data shows the intent and desire among British travellers to get back and explore this part of the world, and G Adventures anticipates a high surge in short-lead bookings as soon as destinations announce the reopening of their borders.
Touring offers huge opportunity for travellers:
While travellers look to destinations that are open now, touring offers an incredible range of options to suit all travellers. Whether it’s trekking the iconic Inca Trail in Peru, discovering the incredible biodiversity of the Galapagos or sailing along the southern coast of Sri Lanka and unwinding in the sunshine on a dhoni boat in the Maldives, there’s something to suit all travellers. G Adventures will operate over 750 trips in February and March alone, ranging from closer to home adventures such as hiking in Madeira and the Canary Islands to long-haul options in Costa Rica, Tanzania and Mexico.