For 2022 we predicted the year of “Revenge Travel”, and we were not wrong. Air traffic hit about 70% of pre-pandemic levels globally. Considering that airlines are still dealing with operational and staffing limitations, as well as some closed borders that is impressive. However, 2022 was not without challenges. We had massive rental car shortages, European capital cities were overcrowded, airfares hit some record highs, and that was just a beginning.
It seems that in spite of inflation, people are not canceling their travel plans. US Travel Foundation is forecasting an increase in travel spending in 2023 compared to 2022, and even 2019. What does that mean to you as a traveler? Expect completely full flights and plenty of visitors at popular travel areas, as well as deals might be harder to find, as the demand grows.
Luxury Travel is very much here to stay. It started with skipped trips during the pandemic, which made travel budgets higher once travel reopened. Five star hotels, bucket list trips, flight upgrades were on the table as well as longer stays. In a survey conducted by one of the travel operators almost half of a survey respondents (49%) stated they are likely to spend more on their next trip to make up for the lost time. 43% of the respondents said they are willing to go all out when it comes to costs. And 80% of younger travelers also plan to splurge on upgraded experiences.
Since mid-range hotels are reducing standard offerings by removing or reducing housekeeping services, and ending free breakfast inclusions, luxury hotels are starting to stand out much more than they used to. Airlines, rental cars and attractions are more than likely to experience staff shortages, which will translate into having to pony up your dollars for a comfortable, convenient experiences.
Last minute deals are very likely to become past in 2023. We are already booking holidays 2023 and finding some specialty categories unavailable. It might not be great news for the last minute, spontaneous folks, but planning ahead is essential. The most searched destinations all had warmer climate in common. If nothing but the beach will do, plan on booking ahead to lock in the reservations still available. A Virtuoso study found that the travelers are booking their trips further ahead than they did back in 2019.
With more and more people working remotely, digital nomadism is part of our everyday vocabulary and is still on the rise. Resorts are adapting and offering discounted extended stays, which unlike a vacation home rentals, offer housekeeping, and amenities like pools, bars and gyms. The US dollar is stronger than it has been in a long time, making international travel look very appealing. Travelers who typically travel to the lower cost countries, to get more bang for their buck, will be able to to travel not just to Vietnam or Colombia, but nearly everywhere.
Responsible travel is lo longer a niche, as travelers are assigning more and more importance to traveling with less impact as a traveler. Environmentally sustainable travel is equally important to some travelers. Social conventions might be indicating we are at an important point, as 44% consumers try to make purchases (including travel) from socially and environmentally conscious companies. And more brands are getting onboard with offering ethical, eco-friendly travel experiences.
In conclusion, travel is rebounding back to pre-pandemic levels, despite inflation and operational staffing issues. If you’re heading somewhere popular, book ahead. We are hopeful that more spontaneous travelers remain flexible and open to limited deals and packages. Travel the Right Way! firstname.lastname@example.org