Home Travel Industry Travel Trends for 2023 that People in the Industry Need to Know

Travel Trends for 2023 that People in the Industry Need to Know

mize blog Travel Trends 2023
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11 min.

Given that the tourism industry is one of the most dynamic verticals, it’s becoming increasingly hard to know what’s coming next. Every year unveils new trends. Whether it’s corporate travel, tourism marketing, or tech, trends keep emerging almost regularly. Identifying all the relevant trends can be daunting if you try to do it manually on your own.

That’s why we’ve decided to do all the research and compile the results in an easy-to-consume manner. Below you can find all travel trends for 2023 to help you see precisely where the tourism sector is heading. 

Destination trends

In 2022 international arrivals went back to 60% of their pre-pandemic levels. Now is a great time to take a closer look at what has changed regarding destinations. One of the main factors OTAs, travel agents, and tour operators consider is the traveler’s behavior, which has significantly changed during the last couple of years, propelling some brand-new destination 2023 trends.

Focus on cultural experiences

According to the latest report by Expedia, tourists don’t want to spend their holidays as they did a couple of years ago. Instead, they want to prioritize intimate travel and unique local experiences. That’s the main reason tour operators shifted their perspective. Instead of offering bucket-list-like travel experiences, they turned to creating packages centered around historical locations, local culture, cuisine, and local and traditional events.

A great example is Take Lisboa, a renowned tour operator company in Lisboa, Portugal. The agency focuses exclusively on providing authentic trip experiences. It offers packages in “only” four cities in Portugal. However, it makes it up catering to the tourists’ specific interests and is flexible with schedule and budget.

Take Lisboa had great success with several tours, including the Guimaraes Free Tour, Sunset Free Tour, and Lisbon in One-Day Tour. It provided groups with knowledgeable local guides, enabling people to discover unique city districts, and it did so efficiently. That is why Take Lisboa has amassed over 10,000 positive reviews on TripAdvisor.

The increasing demand for wellness breaks

Hotels.com’s research showed that an increasing number of tourists have become aware of the importance of being healthy and in good shape. More importantly, the research found that people are interested in a wide range of wellness activities, including alternative ones such as Sylvio Therapy, Foraging, and Fruit harvesting. 

Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in Gloucestershire in the UK is a perfect example that promotes this trend. The hotel uses best destination marketing practices to communicate and works with local experts to enable visitors to participate in fruit picking and foraging trips. Visitors can also take on adventures with naturalists to explore local flora and fauna.

Accommodation trends

If you take a closer look at accommodation trends, you can see that it rarely stays the same for more than a couple of consecutive years. At first, accommodation was synonymous with leisure, comfort, and convenience. Over the years, things have been shifting more towards personalization and having more control. 

The two major accommodation trends for 2023 are deep personalization and enhancing the guest experience through self-service tech. After all, 73% of travelers want to book rooms in hotels with self-service tech available. According to the 2023 Hotel Tech People’s Choice Winners, the best three hotel tech options are SiteMinder (The Channel Manager), Cloudbeds PMS, and ALICE Service Delivery.

Deep personalization

Rosewood Hotel Group is famous for its quality services and recognizable butlers and concierges. The hotel’s personalization efforts go so far that they will have your initials printed on pillowcases. During the pandemic, Rosewood went even deeper into customer preferences. They built a platform to source customer-related information, including conversation history with each staff member and communications through all data-based interfaces.

The initiative has helped Rosewood Hotels and Resorts continue its digital transformation, stay truly connected to guests, and stand out from the crowd. Using the data from all focal points enabled the hotels to introduce personalization to accommodation and further enhance the stay experience of its guests.

Smart assistants for next-level accommodation

The major trends in accommodation in 2022 were mobile and contactless. This year we have a new addition in the form of Artificial Intelligence. Given the disruptive potential of this new tech, it’s fair to see only big brands in the travel sector pursuing it. Marriott International’s Aloft Hotels, for instance, started using AI to improve the guest experience. 

Aloft Hotels use Alexa and Botlr to take accommodation to the next level. The entire hotel’s infrastructure is smart and interconnected. Guests can find out the latest news, play their favorite music, discover the weather forecast, get new toiletries and towels delivered to their room and do it hands-off. 

Transportation trends

Getting from point A to point B is part of the travel experience in the tourism sector. That’s precisely why people carefully assess all available transportation options. Some are more interested in the cheapest alternatives, while others prefer modern means of transportation over traditional ones. With this in mind, let’s see what major transportation trends for 2023 you should keep an eye on.

Transportation as part of a package

Travel package shopping begins to slowly but surely revolve around convenience. It’s not surprising to see big OTAs becoming one-stop shops for people interested in travel. 

However, finding transportation is still kept separate from the main travel package, which calls for more effort from travelers. To address this issue and make the entire experience more enjoyable, some companies, such as PickYourTrail, decided to introduce transportation as part of a package.

The company enables consumers to book their entire trips on one platform, including lodging, flight, and road transportation. As a result, the company recorded a 5-year search growth of 960%.

Electric-powered vehicles and aircraft

Who would have thought that we would witness a major change in mainstream transportation? The entire world is moving towards electric-powered vehicles. The movement is so big that it encompasses air, land, and water transport. It all started with Eviation, a startup that developed a 9-seater commuter plane popularly known as Alice. 

Now we have Airbus working on electric-powered aircraft. The project Vahana was only the start of Airbus’s involvement in this field. The company has partnered with Siemens and Rolls-Royce to work on a brand new hybrid electric aircraft prototype conveniently named E-Fan X

The project demonstrated that the hybrid-EV jet engine technology is the future and that we are most likely to see some of these engines installed on aircraft in the foreseeable future.

Sustainability and responsible tourism

Sustainability and responsible tourism niche is also developing at a rapid pace, but what are the most important travel trends for 2023 you should know about? Travelers are becoming increasingly aware of the travel agencies’, hotels’, and transportation companies’ practices in minimizing their carbon footprint. This is all part of the social tourism trend that is redefining travel as we speak.

In fact, over 70% of travelers are more likely to book accommodations or use transportation if they discover that the company is eco-friendly. In some states, such as California, hotels can’t use single-use toiletries in plastic bottles as of 2023.

Reduced emissions

ITC Hotels Group is an India-based company highly devoted to transforming its entire operation and making it 100% plant-friendly. One of ITC Hotels Group’s latest efforts towards this goal is getting Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certified. 

It includes various solutions, from solar panels and LED lighting to living roofs and smart switches. It is a great example of how a luxury hotel can lead a movement and inspire other hotel chains to reduce emissions at scale.

Self-sufficiency

Soneva is another luxurious hotel chain that understands the importance and value of transforming its processes and bringing them closer to being eco-friendly. Instead of solely focusing on renewable energy, Soneva decided to extend its focus on water as well. 

Currently, its resorts are 100% self-sufficient in water – the brand had to start collecting rainwater and building desalination plants to achieve this milestone. The Soneva hotels also exclusively use refillable glass bottles.

Technology and innovation

The hospitality industry is heavily dependent on technology. Thanks to technology, travel companies can optimize their processes, enhance the travel experience, generate new revenue streams, and capture more profit. According to the Amadeus Travel new report, travel companies will continue to adopt innovative technological solutions. This trend will continue and even increase the adoption rates in the post-covid.

Big Data and AI

Booking price volatility has always been one of the most significant challenges for booking platforms, bed banks, OTAs, and travel agencies. Hotelmize came up with a delicate solution to overcome this challenge and turn it into an advantage. The company created a hotel booking profit optimization platform for travel companies with the help of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.

As a result, travel companies can improve increment profits while still listing hotels at competitive prices to remain attractive in their target markets.

Virtual Reality enabled destination marketing

Technology is not only there to streamline processes and generate new revenue streams. One of the major tech trends is leveraging cutting-edge tech to improve destination marketing both for commercial and business travel destinations. The perfect example of Metaverse Seoul, a project that successfully leveraged the hype surrounding the entire Metaverse trend.

Metaverse Seul is an official project by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. It’s a virtual municipal world where visitors can experience Seoul without leaving the comfort of their homes. The goal is to attract as many Metaverse Seoul visitors as possible and potentially interest them in visiting Seoul in the real world, which aligns with the goals of destination marketing campaigns at any scale. 

Besides Seoul, other destinations are interested in launching similar projects, such as Dubai with its ongoing Metaverse strategy.

Tour operators are heavily investing in technology

The worldwide pandemic has negatively impacted the bottom line of tour operators worldwide. Suddenly, they were struggling to keep their businesses open and generate more revenue. They found a solution in emerging technologies such as business management software and those that enable the delivery of their products through more booking platforms.

A noteworthy example is Intrepid Travel. The company has expanded its technology budget for 2023 by almost 200% compared to the 2019 budget. This is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2020 the global tour operator software market was $500 million. After the significant changes in technology adoption rates, the same market is projected to reach $1.2 billion by 2026. The most popular technologies among tour operators include those that enable reach expansion, automation, and virtual experiences.

Health and Safety

Health and safety have never been more critical than they are today. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has a lot to do with it. A recent survey found that 70% of travelers favor companies that enforce vaccination verification upon their customers, and over 80% of travelers have already been vaccinated. 

Given that we are currently in the post-covid era, it’s logical to assume that we will see some new trends emerge. Here are the major ones.

Service providers will take more health and safety precautions

Post-covid travelers are more aware of health and safety precautions. They actively look for them before finally deciding where they’ll stay and which transportation company they’ll use. Over 60% of travelers expect service providers to take relevant health and safety precautions.

The best example is the World Travel & Tourism Council’s effort to standardize safe travel and stay through the “Safe Travels” program and stamp. So far, dozens of states and countries have met the strict criteria to secure their own Safe Travels stamp.

Flexible booking and health and social distancing policies

While encouraging social distancing in common areas is, at the moment, a thing of the past, hotels are still going to continue with some health and social distancing policies. Regarding health and safety, maintaining low-contact check-in procedures can attract more travelers concerned with their health and well-being.

Some of the world’s major hotel brands are continuing with these policies to this very day and will continue to do so in 2023. Flexible booking is equally important as it enables travelers to cancel at the last minute without having to deal with penalties. According to the latest report, Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott are the leaders in implementing the best practices relevant to this trend. 

Conclusion

As you can see, the tourism sector is indeed one of the most dynamic verticals. New travel trends for 2023 extend to destinations, accommodation, transportation, sustainability, tech, and health and safety. 

Why is it important to stay tuned to the latest trends? Travel trends are there because there is a demand in the market. Knowing the trends relevant to your business and target market can help you make the necessary changes early on and set your business for success. 

We covered at least two major trends per category to keep you up to date. However, you are more than welcome to take your research further and discover other travel trends that you find exciting.

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Mize is the leading hotel booking optimization solution in the world. With over 170 partners using our fintech products, Mize creates new extra profit for the hotel booking industry using its fully automated proprietary technology and has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue across its suite of products for its partners. Mize was founded in 2016 with its headquarters in Tel Aviv and offices worldwide.

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