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Travel Trends Looking Ahead in 2022

November 30, 2023

January 27, 2022

Written By:

Lauren Corna

"Its not wether you get knocked down"


If you could be anyone you wanted to be, who would you be? How exciting is it to think that you could start a new chapter in your life in a whole new world? Without the limitations of the physical world and human constructs that have been created around you?

Well that’s where the Metaverse comes in. There are whole new worlds being created out there that will remove the physical limitations of life and allow you to chase your dreams and be who you want to be.

Sounds pretty exciting right? Let’s dig in a little more to understand what this might look like.


Simply put, the Metaverse is the convergence of all the digital things you do online into one virtual experience.

In a sense, it already exists. We sit on Zoom calls, research on the web, talk on social media, buy things on Amazon, watch streaming events and online video, and play games. The Metaverse is already here.

But think of tying all of it together and removing some of the limitations that still exist in your physical life when you access the web.

But how is this all of the sudden now possible?

When I told my parents I was going to major in digital art, my decision was met with echoing questions:

“What even is that?”

“How are you going to make a living?”

Now 10 years out of college and as the Senior Digital Art Director at Karsh Hagan, I understand that these questions aren’t far from what we hear from prospects and clients on a daily basis.

“What is digital art, and how can it help our brand’s advertising strategy?” Let’s start from the top.

What is Digital Art?

Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process.

Digital art is all around us. It’s everywhere we look. From movies like Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’ to apps like Instagram, digital art has introduced modes of storytelling that were once impossible, making it a valuable and limitless tool for advertising.

Why is Digital Art a Successful Marketing Tactic?

Now, more than ever, we’re a visually driven society. It’s no coincidence that we’re naturally drawn to images, when you consider that 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual, and that our brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. The brain’s preference for images even impacts how memory is formed as 80% of people remember what they see, compared to 20 percent of what they read. That makes digital art an especially important tactic for brands looking to create a campaign that’s as efficient as it is impactful.

What is the Difference Between Digital Art and Traditional Art?

When it comes to advertising, the difference between digital art and traditional art is simple. There are no gatekeepers. Anyone with a phone in their pocket and a little bit of creativity can create and share their art. Unlike the billboards or magazines of the past, online apps allow artists to instantly publish their work for free for all to see.

The success of digital art within that context comes down to ROI. Delivering the highest return on your investment requires the ability to measure, analyze, and adapt your strategy – it requires the ability to learn. Digital art is iterative and efficient – allowing us to easily track engagement rates that let us fail fast, tweak, and refine. We can then use that information to employ data-proven digital art across all marketing channels, ultimately delivering a product that best serves your brand and your audience.

How You Can Use Digital Art In Brand Advertising

At Karsh Hagan, we have used our understanding to create beautiful and effective marketing campaigns for our clients. For VISIT DENVER we created an immersive world that targeted convention planners all over the country. We created three unique videos, using 2.5D animation. These videos were seen by over 462,610 people and counting! Check out the work here:

At Karsh Hagan, we have used our understanding to create beautiful and effective marketing campaigns for our clients. For VISIT DENVER we created an immersive world that targeted convention planners all over the country. We created three unique videos, using 2.5D animation. These videos were seen by over 462,610 people and counting! Check out the work here:

Coming into the new year, COVID levels were surging after holiday gatherings and uncertainty around travel still remains high. Just how can one predict travel trends for 2022? With a history of serving tourism clients from VISIT DENVER, Colorado Tourism Office and beyond, and now with inductees into the Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame, Karsh Hagan continuously works to distill the latest trends and sentiments for our clients. The tourism landscape and traveler behavior is changing every day, which means strategies for marketers need to look ahead, while remaining flexible and adaptable.

According to Longwoods International, “The percentage of travelers planning a trip in the next month has slipped significantly from 23% in October to 15% in January.  The percentage of travelers who feel safe traveling outside their community fell from 70% in November to 61% in January, and support by travelers for opening up their local communities to visitors dropped from 61% in November to 53% in the most recent data.”

Despite the ever-changing implications of the pandemic, it’s no secret that almost everyone is ready for a getaway and these five key trends will ring true in 2022.


As individuals and families have mastered the art of remote work and school, the blend of leisure travel with remote flexibility has invigorated a new golden age of travel. Part vacation, part mobile classroom, part satellite office—the flexcation allows people to uniquely blend work and play, offering a fluidity that has unlocked new opportunities for travel. The pressure of working through the pandemic has been crushing for many employees resulting in “The Great Resignation.” The cultural trend to seek new, flexible work opportunities aligns with workers’ desire to better prioritize personal development and wellness. Many countries have even established “digital nomad visas” with hopes that remote workers will visit and generate income making up for lost tourism revenue due to the pandemic.


Travelers are operating in a new world that forces them to adapt quickly to COVID-related developments. The rise of new variants and ever-changing travel restrictions means that trip cancellations are inevitable. Thankfully, many airlines and hotels have implemented no-fee itinerary changes, removing the financial risk associated with a change in plans. As a result, people are now making big travel decisions with little lead time. According to McKinsey’s 2020 The Travel Industry Turned Upside Down report, “Long-term planning is out the window, with health advice and travel restrictions changing on a seemingly daily basis. And with more travelers choosing to vacation closer to home and drive themselves, there is less need to book far in advance.” This new travel behavior has also triggered a renewed demand for travel advisors, with tourists seeking professional support to navigate the changing landscape.


Travel experts Skift and Arrivalist dubbed 2021 the year of the road trip. While many travelers are starting to take flight again, the Road Trip Resurgence is not slowing down. According to a survey by Outdoorsy—the “Airbnb of RVs”—more than 90% of respondents indicated plans to take a road trip in 2022. Many people learned that traveling by road offers a unique combination of security and freedom that air travel simply does not. Outdoor destinations, like national parks, are best explored on wheels. Road trips also provide opportunities for group-oriented excursions, allowing family and friends to make up for lost time apart during the pandemic. Many roadtrippers are also eager to get off the grid and reconnect with themselves and with friends and family.


Travel is responsible for eight percent of the world’s carbon emissions, and the pressure is on the tourism industry to provide solutions to travel more responsibly. Airlines are investing in more eco-friendly aircrafts, hotels are cutting back on daily housekeeping to reduce water and energy use, and destinations are providing agritourism itineraries and educating visitors on how to “Leave No Trace.” In addition to the industry doing its part, a new segment of “low-impact travelers” are seeking to reduce the negative impact of their trips. These travelers follow the principles of sustainable tourism, an approach to travel that considers economic, social, cultural, and environmental impacts.


As we approach two full years of navigating COVID-19, travelers have more pent up demand now than ever before to take a trip. And not just any trip. This year, travelers are planning special, bucket list adventures unlike any other vacation. Expedia is calling 2022 the year of the GOAT, or the “greatest of all trips.” People are tired of being confined to their homes and are determined to set off on a great adventure. Many travelers are even planning trips around physical challenges—like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of the most popular trekking destinations in the world. But says that “Going big doesn't just mean taking a bucket-list trip. In the coming year, American travelers are going after their GOAT by stepping outside their comfort zone (22%) and immersing themselves in a destination, culture, and experiences completely different to their own (19%).” With so much pent up demand, travelers are willing to spend more too - a mindset that many are calling “revenge travel.” No matter the style of adventure, Americans are ready to take the trip of a lifetime.

As we look ahead for ways to support our destination clients in attracting travelers and reaching pre-pandemic levels of success, these trends can help spark inspiration. Even reflecting on my own travel plans for 2022, these trends will guide the way. From flexcations at ski resorts—to road trips across the West—to revenge travel and planning the GOAT, the pandemic has reminded us all that “life is short and the world is wide.”

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