Celebrate the return of travel! Booking.com reveals 8 of the top trending destinations for travelers to explore in 2022
Forget the days of dreaming of trips and holidays abroad, 2022 is looking like an optimistic and extraordinary year for travel. Booking.com’s annual Travel Predictions research* found that over half (58%) of US travelers say they need to make up for lost vacation time from the pandemic. In addition, nearly half (44%) of Americans would rather go somewhere most people haven’t heard but have to keep it a secret, instead of a well-known destination that they can tell people about in 2022. To help inspire travelers to find their own hidden gems as travel makes its triumphant return, Booking.com has delved into global booking trends** to share the 8 of the top trending destinations for travelers to explore in 2022. From urban cities and mountain resorts to seaside escapes and destinations rich with culture and history, there’s a destination for everyone to plan an unforgettable trip in 2022.
As the capital of Georgia, Atlanta is known as the cultural center of the American South and offers a true urban adventure. Full of lively neighborhoods with world-class restaurants and a wealth of vibrant nightlife, it is a great destination for all types of travelers. For history lovers, the city is home to some important sites such as the Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. As 65% of US travelers want to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture*** locals would recommend visiting Ponce de Leon Avenue, a 16-mile road that connects Atlanta’s diverse communities and allows visitors to fully immerse themselves into the city down one long straight road. The ‘Ponce,’ as it is known locally, is home to everything from tattoo parlors and underground nightclubs to antique shops, and churches and showcases all the rich culture Atlanta has to offer.
Where to stay:
The stylish Hotel Clermont is situated a short walk away from Piedmont Park, a luscious green space which serves as the athletic center of the city, and includes a delicious restaurant, bar and gym. With colorful and cool interiors, this boutique hotel is perfect for a comfortable stay in this vibrant city.
Taiwan’s second-largest city is famous for its big night markets. Over half (55%) of US travelers want to try new and different cuisines while traveling in 2022, so as you bustle your way through one of the buzzing street markets, be sure to try sun cakes, Taichung’s local meatballs, and of course a refreshing bubble tea. By day, Taichung is home to incredible historical temples and must-see sites including the prestigious 200-year-old Lecheng Temple, the ornate Chenghuang Temple, and the three-hall style Wanhe Temple, which showcase intricate architecture and reveal the rich cultural past of the city’s ancestors.
Where to stay:
The Petrichor Hotel is a short distance from the night markets and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Guests at the sleek and modern hotel can enjoy an à la carte or American breakfast before a day of exploring or unwind after an adventurous day in an outdoor bath that some of the rooms luxuriously feature.
Gramado is located in the ‘Romantic Route’ region of southern Brazil, a scenic route that runs through 13 municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul. This picturesque mountain resort is perfect for just over two-thirds (70%) of Americans who like traveling ‘off-the-beaten-path’ to destinations that are less crowded. With charming boutique shops, restaurants that serve chocolate and fondue, and pedestrian crosswalks - Gramado feels like a quaint Swiss village in the heart of South America, making it an unexpected destination thanks to the fusion of two cultures. As almost two-thirds (64%) of US travelers wish to stay somewhere with different scenery from what they are used to back home, this unique destination is one of the most charming places in the Brazilian hinterland and is well worth the visit for a memorable trip in 2022.
Where to stay:
Hidden in the flowered Araucarias Forests, Família Fiorenze offers cozy fairytale chalets just a short distance away from Gramado´s trendy city center. The spacious private lodges have living rooms with cozy fireplaces and some feature hot tubs to help properly relax after a day of exploring.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo exemplifies the pulse of Dominican culture and is a city where old perfectly meets new, with art galleries, a buzzing nightlife and delicious foodie scene sitting seamlessly alongside architectural wonders from the 16th century and a UNESCO world heritage site. Explore the Zona Colonial in the core of the city by bike or by joining a guided tour, visit the National Botanical Garden for a beautiful taste of nature and finish with a sunset drink with a seaview at the Malecón pier. The historical charm met with a modern Latin flair is perfect for the half (52%) of Americans who want to stay somewhere close to plenty of nightlife options, as they can enjoy the salsa clubs by night and recuperate on the pristine beaches in the glorious Caribbean by day.
Where to stay:
El Beaterio Casa Museo is a 16th-century converted convent located in the historic Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo. The hotel offers a terrace with panoramic views of the city and is just a short walk from the Santa Maria la Menor Cathedral, the first cathedral to be built in the Americas.
Full of medieval ambience, the 13th Century city of Brașov set in the heart of Transylvania inspired the world’s most famous vampire and will transport you back in time. Fringed by the peak of the Southern Carpathian Mountains, the city is full of romantically Gothic architecture creating an awe-inspiring skyline. Main attractions include the spookily famous Bran Castle which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or you can even visit a bear sanctuary to see these incredible animals in their natural habitat. Whether conquering a hiking trail, taking a cable car up Mount Tampa to overlook the whole city or perusing the charming cafes surrounding the central Council Square, the city is a hidden European gem, with no vampires in sight.
Where to stay:
Located in a 19th century house overlooking the old fortified city wall and situated in the Old Town district, Uptown Studio Brașov is a cosy apartment that is just a short walk away from the grand and famous Black Church. The apartment is the perfect getaway to experience the beauty and the history of Brasov and embraces the old style of the house with new and modern amenities.
Known as ‘The Queen of the Welsh Watering Places’, this Victorian seaside gem situated on the North Wales Coast is perfect for exploring beaches, nature and castles. To see all of the city, the formidable limestone headland overlooking Llandudno is known as The Great Orne and visitors can travel up on a tram to reach the summit station for wonderful views. For a quintessentially British seaside experience, Llandudno pier is ideal for seaside fun and charming shops. Llandudno (pronounced lan.did.no) is also home to the Oriel Mostyn Gallery; an elegant building that showcases contemporary art lies nearby a variety of restaurants, pubs and shops.
Where to stay:
Situated just metres away from Llandudno beach, the charming Beachside Guest House lies nearby miniature golf courses, an open air theatre and a variety of restaurants. The bedrooms are reminiscent of a beach and sea theme, with some treating the guests to a view of the sea and pier.
Coined as one of the sunniest cities in France, Montpellier sits on the Mediterranean coast of the South of France and is a beautiful city full of elegant architecture. Explore the city by the new modern tram lines which were designed by the luxury designer Christian Lacroix, then visit the white-sand beaches on the city’s doorstep for some vitamin-sea as 84% of US travelers agree that seeing a body of water instantly changes their mood for the better. Travelers can take a stroll down the historical Promenade du Peyrou to sample some French cheese in the market before a visit to the Cathedral or wine tasting at the 17th century Château de Flaugergues. Art enthusiasts should also pay a visit to the Musée Fabre to observe exquisite art from the 14th century.
Where to stay:
The lavish Domaine de Verchant & Spa - Relais & Châteaux is a luxurious hotel housed in a former mansion. The property features the latest hi-tech facilities, a state-of-the-art spa centre and elegantly decorated and furnished accommodation. When not at the beach, guests can relax in the mansion’s indoor or outdoor swimming pools and enjoy some sunshine on the garden terrace. And since France is home to some of the world’s incredible wines, the hotel has its own extensive wine cellar with more than 10,000 bottles.
Known as the historical state of Malaysia, Melaka is rich with heritage buildings and ancient landmarks. Travelers can take in the cool street art that covers the city with a stroll down Jonker Walk, while enjoying local boutiques, small museums and restaurants with local Nyonya cuisine that can be tantalizingly spicy, but is a delight for the tastebuds! Take in all Melaka has to offer, with Melaka Bird Park being a great day out for the family to see over 700 Malaysian bird species in an idyllic botanical garden and, for a stunning view, pay a visit to the beautiful Masjid Selat Mosque. When the water levels are high, the Mosque looks like it is floating on top of the strait of Melaka and is magical at both sunrise and sunset.
Where to stay:
Right in the heart of Melaka, the Yote 28 hostel has a unique, modern decor and is perfect as a base while travelers explore the must see sights of the city. With a community lounge where guests can watch films and play games, it’s the perfect escape from the bustling city to wind down after a long day of exploring!
*Travel Predictions 2022 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Singapore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.
** The data analysts at Booking.com selected the top 1,000 booked destinations during the time period June - September 2021 and ranked them by fastest growing when compared to the window of time of in 2019 (to look at pre-pandemic trends). The destinations were slightly curated to ensure geographic distribution and not feature the same country twice.
***Sustainable Travel Report 2021 research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 29,349 respondents across 30 countries and territories (1,000 from USA, 1,007 from Canada, 1,000 from Mexico, 964 from Colombia, 1,000 from Brazil, 1,000 from Argentina, 999 from Australia, 941 from New Zealand, 1,001 from Spain, 1,000 from Italy, 1,000 from France, 1,000 from UK, 1,000 from Germany, 1,003 from Netherlands, 986 from Denmark, 1,000 from Sweden, 997 from Croatia, 1,005 from Russia, 1,003 from Israel, 1,000 from India, 1,000 from China, 1,005 from Hong Kong, 968 from Thailand, 963 from Singapore, 1,000 from Taiwan, 1,005 from Vietnam, 1,000 from South Korea, 1,000 from Japan, 1,002 from South Africa and 500 from Kenya ). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and must be planning to travel in 2021, and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in March 2021.