The travel industry is experiencing a small boom post-pandemic, one that is expected to continue into the new year. A recent survey conducted by Booking.com found that even against a backdrop of global instability, nearly three-quarters of people still say that travelling will always be worth it, and 43% plan to spend more lavishly to make up for missed travel opportunities.
Here are the biggest travel trends forecasted for the upcoming year.
With the onslaught of communication through email, social media, and the like, we could all use a little time to unplug. That’s why one of the biggest travel trends of 2023 will be off-grid style vacations to escape from reality. Whether flying to a tech-free wellness retreat or enjoying the serenity of nature for a camping weekend, spending undistracted time with loved ones will be a high priority for many travellers in 2023. This may lead to a rise in out-of-city breaks, with properties that can fuel the desire for a remote trip potentially proving the most popular.
Local excursions are likely to become increasingly popular as guests search for authenticity in destinations that have a culture polar to their own. This comes as 73% of respondents are looking forward to experiencing ‘out of comfort zone’ travel that pushes them to the limit. Half of them want to experience a complete culture shock in 2023, whether that’s completely different cultural experiences and languages or exploring lesser-known cities with hidden gems that aren’t already on the radar.
The survey found that 88% of respondents want nostalgic getaways in 2023, such as like visits to retro film locations, or bus travel to evoke school trips. And after the mayhem of travel over the past three years, travellers still looking to make up for the lost time when it comes to travel and visits with loved ones. Multi-generational ‘family reunion’ trips are expected to see an increase in 2023, with extended families finally making time to meet up with one another and make memories to last a lifetime.
Wellness is now inextricably linked to travel, with more and more travellers consistently prioritizing their health and seeking wellness-focused vacations. In 2023, this trend will likely be taken to the next level, as almost half of the travellers are hoping to book a meditation or mindfulness getaway. 42% are keen to go on a ‘health hiatus’ to focus on mental or transformative health or to help with milestones such as pregnancy or menopause.
2023 is also expected to reimagine MICE travel. People are hoping for more corporate group travel, with 51% saying they would like to see their employer spend more on corporate travel or retreats, and 44% looking forward to ‘real life’ work trips to bring people together. However, when it comes to personal trips, many people are putting strong restrictions on when and where they’re willing to work, with two-thirds of people wanting their trips to be strictly work-free in 2023.
Photo: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa