The more we hear, the more optimistic we are for the travel industry in 2023. Recently, Hotelbeds predicted its top trends for next year, stating “the appetite for travel shows no signs of slowing down,” as the company is expecting growth of 30 percent above the 2022 fiscal year over the next 12 months. In fact, TripAdvisor’s latest “Seasonal Travel Index” said nearly the same thing: Globally, the desire to travel shows no sign of abating, with two-thirds of respondents planning to travel this winter.
As for Hotelbeds, it noted that new trends are emerging as consumers are not only seeking new experiences but also ways to make their trips easier and hassle-free. Both of which echo recent findings by Hilton—which said people want more engaging experiences and connections—and Amadeus—who found that the like of the metaverse, biometrics and other tech advancements will be implemented to make the travel experience touch- and hassle-free.
Following are the seven trends Hotelbeds predicts will shape the travel ecosystem in 2023:
If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s not to wait. Revenge travel will continue to gain momentum next year as people prioritize travel. Hotelbeds’ data shows growth for next year with analysis suggesting 30 percent more room nights will be booked in 2023 compared to this year, showing that rising inflation is not putting people off traveling.
As consumers become increasingly time-poor, they not only want to have everything in the palm of their hand, but they want a one-stop-shop for all their travel needs, too. This frictionless experience extends to all aspects of the experience from booking all elements of travel at once, including the hotel and theme park tickets to breezing through the airport using biometrics rather than scanning your passport to board an aircraft.
Improved Customer Experience
Travelers are increasingly looking for a personalized service. They no longer want to be Passenger 17A on an aircraft or Room 303 in a hotel. They are now moving away from price and choosing experiences that are more individual. In a service sector such as tourism, consumers attach great importance to the quality of services and experiences and are willing to pay more to companies offering focus on customer-centricity.
Digitalization of Hotels
We’ve already seen a shift towards digitalization in the hotel sector through, for example, services like mobile room keys and remote check-in; now, it’s going one step further to make hotel operations more efficient. Hotels need to access real-time data, so they know to staff up or slim down. Realtime occupancy data can make cleaning staff more productive by prioritizing which rooms to service first, while QR codes and digital menus not only make ordering food and other items seamless, but it also has a positive impact on the environment, too, by reducing paper.
Focus on Fintech
Travel demand is surging but cancelations, delays and staffing shortages continue to plague travel operations. For travel companies pushing to regain and expand their market share in the current chaotic environment, travel fintech can offer compelling solutions by freezing prices, changing or canceling reservations and easily rebooking disrupted flights, paying with whichever payment methods they find convenient. Travelers are willing to pay for the added confidence. As awareness and adoption of fintech products grows, travelers increasingly will expect the option to lock in prices and gain peace of mind. The travel companies who provide it are more likely to thrive in the post-COVID environment.
Rise of Sustainable Travel
Recycling, hybrid cars and reducing plastic are all ways consumers are reducing their environmental impact. And, now, tourism is being added to this list as more travelers seek sustainable trips, so they can explore the world without damaging it.
Combining Business With Leisure
With hybrid and remote working here to stay for many, people are taking advantage of the ability to work from anywhere and combining business with pleasure. Barbados was an early pioneer, offering the “Barbados Welcome Stamp,” allowing visitors to stay for up to a year and, now, many companies allows its teams to work in any location for extended periods, which has shown to boost employee morale.
Hotelbeds’ data is compiled from 4 billion searches every day and more than 4 million bookings so far for travel in 2023.