Bill Alen - Jan 9, 2023
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After several years marred by Covid, travelers are adopting new habits. Tourism experts compiled a list of trends that are likely to be observed this year.

Purchasing power, the driving force behind travel

Purchasing power, the key to the war in 2023? While it was over 6% in December over one year (the highest in nearly 40 years), inflation is expected to gain further ground this year. It could even reach 7% at the beginning of the year. This difficult context is forcing households to rethink the way they travel. And some of them, will be looking for good deals. As a result of reduced spending, consumers will continue to prioritize travel, but more and more of them will be searching on flight comparison sites and using simple travel tips to ensure value for money, such as being flexible in terms of dates and destination.

The "revenge travel" or the frantic need to travel

Already announced as one of the major trends of 2022, "revenge travel" continues to make news. The phenomenon appeared after the first deconfinements in Asia, and continued to grow during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2023, it is expected to take on an additional dimension. 40% of consumers plan to go on vacation as much in 2023 as in 2022. 1 in 3 even plan to go more next year, according to the Skyscanner. The reopening of many destinations has created new travel options. Some countries are expected to be full in the coming months, starting with Japan and the U.S., which have seen an influx of flight and accommodation bookings. Faced with an overflow of tourists, some attractions have already planned measures to limit the flow, such as setting up quotas or mandatory reservations.

Cultural cities, always rated

The success of Paris is a perfect example: the French capital has retained its title as the world's top destination in 2022. Although the latest figures have not yet been published, the city of lovers is expected to pass the 33 million annual visitor mark. After being put on hold during the Covid crisis, the cultural capitals will continue to seduce and will even have the wind in their sails in 2023, according to Hotels com, Abritel and Expedia, which published a joint study in November on future travel trends. "Most of the destinations with the highest demand growth on Expedia are bustling cities rich in culture," the consortium observes. And some of them should attract all the attention in the coming months, like Sydney, whose mythical Opera House will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023. Australia's most famous city will also host the WorldPride in February.

Film tourism, when films or series become sources of travel inspiration

The phenomenon is not new: we all know the examples of Maya Bay, the famous bay in the film The Beach, or Dubrovnik, whose old town was the location for the filming of Game of Thrones. Two destinations saw their number of visitors explode in the years following the broadcast of these works. 2023 should not escape the trend. Movie tourism could become even more important, boosted by more powerful streaming platforms than ever. The proof is in a study published in 2021 by Netflix and the World Tourism Organization. At the time, their conclusion is clear: the phenomenon, stopped with the pandemic, will resume once the restrictions are lifted. An omen since confirmed by the survey conducted for Hotels com, Abritel and Expedia on travel trends in 2023. "Two-thirds of travelers worldwide have considered booking stays to destinations after seeing them in movies or streaming series, and 39% have already taken the plunge," the three booking platforms revealed.

Travelling more responsibly

While the effects of global warming are more visible than ever, some people are rethinking the way they discover the world. Latest studies confirm that over 60% of tourists plan to travel in a more responsible way. This approach manifests itself by supporting local merchants once they are on-site, but also by preferring to take the train rather than the plane (42%) or by leaving less, but for longer (41%). This approach is not new: many travelers were already paying close attention to respecting the environment and local traditions in 2022. This type of tourism is becoming a priority, especially among millennials. The fact remains that the desire to travel better could conflict with the bulimia of travel, the "revenge travel", a phenomenon that will still be relevant in 2023.

A vacation focused on well-being

Whether it is physical or mental, well-being is now an essential part of people's lives. According to a study by McKinsey, 79% of respondents consider well-being to be a criterion for their free time, and even "an absolute priority" for 42% of them. This desire is also reflected in the way people travel. According to the survey commissioned by Hotels com, Abritel and Expedia, 59% of Europeans are planning a stay under the sign of well-being. Some destinations, such as Bali (in Indonesia), are doing well. But not only. Several tourism segments see it as a way to reinvent the customer experience. Hotels are not hesitating to invest in tools to improve the sleep of their guests, while other places are organizing retreats for travelers looking for peace of mind. In its study, Skyscanner goes even further and recommends "the meditative effects of Shinrin-yoku", in other words a "forest bath". So, tempted?

A need for nature intact

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the need for nature seems to be more and more present for vacationers. They are looking for "a certain authenticity in the countryside by renting typical vacation homes in the middle of wide open spaces with landscapes and fields as far as the eye can see," note Hotels com, Abritel and Expedia. As a result, some destinations attract all eyes, such as the western and central states of the United States, which offer "ranches for rent or large, comfortable farms," the three platforms detail. In Australia, "outback farms surrounded by acres of vineyards and wild vegetation are popular."

Solo travel is the preferred option

Going on a solo adventure? The idea is becoming one of the travel trends. In November, flight and hotel comparator Kayak reported a trend: searches for solo travel during the Christmas vacations had increased by an average of nearly 20 percent compared to 2021. Another number that stood out was the explosion of flight searches by potential solo travelers by 275% over the 2022-2023 Christmas and New Year period compared to 2019. Holiday blues or a lasting phenomenon? For Skyscanner, "alone time" will become more prevalent this year. "Nearly a third of travelers are considering a solo trip next year, especially among divorcees and singles who seem most tempted by the adventure of solo travel," the flight comparator reveals in its study published in December. And this, is especially since it is increasingly easy to meet fellow travelers, thanks to applications and chat platforms.

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