‘No Normal’ is Expedia’s traveller trend for 2023

Culture, wellness & outdoors dominate preferences for 2023
/ New Delhi
‘No Normal’ is Expedia’s traveller trend for 2023

Expedia Group has come up with details of traveller expectations, wishes and concerns for the year 2023

A traveller survey conducted by travel firm Expedia Group has come up with a wide variety of results of what the travellers habits and preferences would be for the year 2023. Culture, wellness and outdoors seem to the key drivers for travel desire next year.
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One of the largest traveller surveys conducted in recent times by the US travel giant Expedia Group has come up with details of traveller expectations, wishes and concerns for the year 2023. It also outlines the industry’s own development and key landmarks for the upcoming year.

According to data from Expedia as well as its group companies, Hotels.com and Vrbo, as well as industry professionals across 17 countries, in the choice of their travel destination and the experiences sought during their visit, 40 pc of travellers were inspired by streamed movies and TV shows, while another 31 pc were influenced by social media.

The survey says that in the United States, 68 pc of travellers considered visiting a destination after seeing it in a show or movie, with 61 pc following through and booking a trip. With travel restrictions lifted, most destinations seeing the most significant increases are where art and culture festivities are back in full swing.

The top set-jetter destinations include New Zealand, with its landscapes featured in one of this year’s most epic series, followed by the UK, Paris, New York and the stunning beach resorts of Hawaii.

National Parks and rural retreats have had big moments these past two years, says Expedia. Now, it is time for cities to see a comeback. Based on traveller demand, most of the destinations seeing the largest increases are culture-rich cities where art and culture festivities are getting back to full swing. It says that Edinburgh, Lisbon and Tokyo are the top three cities in culture trips searched by travellers for next year, says Expedia.

The survey also says that travellers are looking to save money, with 32 pc of Americans saying they are more concerned with value than ever before and interest in three-star hotels growing around 20 pc globally. In 2023, data shows that 40 pc of US travellers plan to stay in 1 to 3-star hotels and 34 pc plan to book a vacation with added value inclusions, such as free parking or breakfast. Additionally, 43 pc are using cooking to cut down on costs.

“When we look at Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo data together, we see a detailed and robust picture of travel into 2023. We are seeing a surge in trips to culture capitals, a new wave of interest in wellness retreats and a spike in demand for outdoor destinations beyond just beaches and mountains, not a new normal but people branching out to unexpected trends in what we are calling the ‘no normal’,” says Expedia Brands President Jon Gieselman said.

According to Hotels.com, 53 pc of Americans are seeking wellness breaks but cite boredom with traditional retreats and want to experience something more exciting in 2023. Millennials are the top drivers of this, as 60 pc of 25-34-year-olds seek alternative wellness getaways.

Demand for Vrbo homes in western US destinations increased by more than 30 pc from September 2021 to August 2022, as travelers seek to reconnect with nature. Plus, 42 pc of travellers find inspiration in outdoorsy destinations and mind-blowing landscapes.

For the first time, the 2023 travel trends are being released at the same time as insights from industry professionals, from airlines to hotels to vacation rental hosts and more. In a tailored report for travel partners, Expedia Group reveals the ways that the pandemic forever changed travel. The research shows the highest levels of optimism since 2020. As many as 71 pc of professionals expect leisure travel to return to the pre-pandemic level within two years, over 70 pc expect the business travel to return to that level.

While travellers looking for a change of scenery kept the industry afloat during the pandemic, all eyes are on the return of international and business travel. In fact, just more than half or 51 pc in the industry say business is their organisation’s highest priority in 2023.

Another insight from industry professionals shows travellers are choosing options aligned with their personal values such as sustainability, inclusivity and accessibility. Most travel businesses, about 60 pc made changes in the last year to ensure their services are inclusive and accessible. In fact, sustainability is tied with marketing as the highest area of investment for 2023, with one in five industry professionals saying they plan to invest in sustainability next year, says the survey.

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