Data analysis

KTO predicts tourism trends in 2022 through big data analytics

Cheongsando Slow Trail in Wando, South Jeolla Province (KTO)

The Korea Tourism Board on Tuesday predicted next year’s domestic travel trends with the acronym HABIT-US, with the results showing a shift in travel preferences and habits highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic .

The findings are based on an analysis of travel-related big data over the past three years, including travel spend and social media usage, as well as in-depth interviews with industry experts.

The acronym is derived from ‘habitus’, which refers to a person’s socially ingrained habits, skills and dispositions. The KTO has found that individuals, in adapting to the pandemic, have formed unique travel habits and styles.

“The research was significant in that we were able to comprehensively grasp the changes in the public’s psychological and behavioral patterns on tourism,” said Jeong Seon-hee, head of the tourism consulting team at KTO.

HABIT-US stands for Hashtags, Anyone, Beyond Borders, At a Glance, Therapy, Usual Quirky, and Special Me.

Below are seven key HABIT-US words or phrases, and what each means in relation to tourism:

Hashtags – Separate preferences have been shown in trip types. Social media posts mentioning specific types of travel such as ‘work’, a combination of ‘work’ and ‘vacation’ referring to hotel stays, rose 16% in the eight months to February to September this year versus the 12 months ending January 2021.

Anyone – a diversification of travel companions was also detected, with an increase in data on trips with children, friends, pets, as well as options for traveling alone.

Across borders – Long-distance travel, which declined at the start of the pandemic, also returned, with telecom data showing active movements within or between 242 cities and districts.

At a Glance — Growing uncertainties in times of a pandemic have triggered spontaneous or short-lived travel.

Therapy – Therapeutic nature-themed travel is growing in popularity as more travelers seek comfort through nature experiences.

Usual Unusual — Online tours and exhibits have increased in recent months with the introduction of various interactive tourism programs.

Special Me – Sense of tourism has changed from just visiting places to participating in more activities or experiences that suit one’s interests and hobbies.

By Kim Hae-yeon ([email protected])