Amadeus Names Its Top Travel Trends for 2023 and Beyond

Talk of the tech revolution in travel is no longer hypothetical, says Amadeus. Over the next 12 months and beyond, the travel technology company expects that we will witness continual change in the way we take trips, including new tools, solutions and expertise, as well as easier transitions through airports and the opportunity to travel with less luggage.

The “Amadeus 2023 Travel Trends” report identifies five new developments that the company believes will play a part in shaping travel over the coming year. They are:

  • A new kind of “travel agent:” Exploring the metaverse will allow travelers to discover a destination before they arrive or relive their memories once they leave.
  • Smiling for your purchase: Biometrics will help create a smooth travel payment experience
  • Traveling without baggage: Hotels will offer travelers more amenities so they can travel lighter
  • "Working from roam:" Remote workers will adopt an increasingly nomadic lifestyle, migrating to different locations as “work from anywhere” policies become normalized  
  • Bonding business breaks: A new category of business travel, focused on connecting teams, building relationships and unlocking creativity away from the office,​ will emerge

The travel trends were identified by the expertise of Amadeus’ team of travel tech experts. They have identified that, while technology is a major driver of change, and Web3 and biometrics will have a big part to play, human relationships are equally important. The trends are all connected to personal and societal concerns, from the desire to travel with a lighter ecological footprint to the desire for more people to be free to work from anywhere.

The Metaverse and Travel

In the coming years, the metaverse will take traveler engagement to the next level. Travelers will be able to enjoy deeper cultural experiences in an online world, exploring virtual concerts and exhibitions from anywhere. The technology also offers enormous potential for pre-trip assistance and the opportunity to “try before you buy,” creating further wanderlust and excitement. This will become increasingly popular as a way to trial higher-priced items, says Amadeus. 

In fact, Walt Disney Co. has plans to create a real-world theme park ride that incorporates a parallel 3D virtual world experience, while Seoul has plans to go “meta” by 2023, with a platform titled “Metaverse Seoul.” Qatar Airways, meanwhile, recently announced Qverse with a MetaHuman cabin crew, providing an immersive experience to tour, navigate and check-in at Hamad International Airport.

Biometric Payments

A woman whose face is being scanned by biometrics

Biometric payments—via the likes of ApplePay and GooglePay, among others—are now mainstream for both retail and travel payments. But, over the coming years, travel is likely to take biometric payments to the next level. Airports already use biometrics for travel document identification, so the logical next step is to leverage this identity check for any payments travelers make during their trip. 

If a traveler is using biometrics to check-in, drop off luggage and board the plane, then these identity checks could double-up to cover payments they make while traveling, like adding an in-flight meal. Airports and travel operators could offer a completely contactless payment experience for passengers with the use of biometrics, at all points of the journey. 

Small trials have already begun with travel retailer Hudson. The company has employed the Amazon One biometric payment solution at its store at Nashville International Airport, allowing customers to “just walk out” and pay with the palm of their hand. 

Traveling Light

A combination of customers becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint and cost of checked-in luggage is slimming down suitcases. As Amadeus says, multiple trolley-loads of designer luggage are no longer a status symbol—rather, it’s quite the opposite.

Hotels and resorts are increasingly offering the hire of bulky items, such sports equipment and workout clothes. Those who do are also seeking to do so from hyperlocal suppliers to be all the more popular with guests. Alongside this, travelers are looking to buy essentials from the local destination, supporting and engaging with the community in the process and further ensuring they have meaningful travel experiences.

Global brands such as Hilton are offering exercise gear and equipment, helping travelers get closer to a “suitcase free stay.” In its report, Amadeus says it expects this trend to grow and evolve.

Working From Roam

Man on Zoom call while on the beach

Remote workers will settle into an increasingly nomadic lifestyle, migrating to different locations due to the widespread corporate formalization of “work from anywhere” policies. As a result, workforces will spend less time at their homes. Workers will opt to spend time with friends and family in their domestic market or might spend a month working abroad. From a governmental perspective, we will likely see the continued rise of countries encouraging digital nomads through visa programs and incentives. 

Countries such as Costa Rica, Georgia, Croatia, Iceland and Germany have already created official programs to attract digital nomads. To that extent, Nomadlist, a platform connecting a global community of remote workers living and traveling around the world, helps them find competitively priced locations to work from. The platform lists Bangkok and Lisbon in its top five cities for digital working. Amadeus has seen a search increase to these cities during September 2022 from select destinations.  

Bonding Business Breaks

Business travel is back—but with a difference. Over the past few years, many companies have introduced work-from-anywhere policies; with this has come the challenge of team bonding and collaboration. As a result, we are witnessing an uptick in “internal travel” plans, where teams are brought together for the express purpose of strengthening relationships. American Express Global Business Travel even published a paper titled "Why Business Travel Is at the Center of the New Company Culture.”

With employee experience being more important now than ever, team travel programs will increase exponentially as they are a good way to motivate teams, improve employee satisfaction, strengthen company loyalty, and unlock creativity.

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