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Travel in 2023: 7 major trends

After years of lockdowns, health risks and travel restrictions, travellers are more ready than ever to explore the world their way again. But what exactly does 'their way' mean? And won't inflation throw a spanner in the works? Discover 7 striking trends that the travel sector can expect to see this year.


1. Life is getting expensive, but travel is still a part of it

Despite the energy crisis and unprecedented price increases, consumers are not showing any inclination to postpone their travel plans this year. On the contrary: international studies show that many people want to book as many holidays as in 2022, or even more. Travel therefore clearly remains a priority, even in an age of high prices.

However, this doesn't mean that the rising cost of living has no impact. Consumers want more value for money and are trying to plan more cost-consciously. Think of cheap last minutes, early bird discounts, no luggage on the plane, ... At the same time, they're not afraid to spend money once they've reached their destination, to make sure they get the most out of their trip.

2. The bigger the culture shock, the better

Long-distance, international travel is once again high on consumers' wish lists. Now that it's possible again, travellers want to push their boundaries and fully immerse themselves in other languages and cultures. Hidden gems and less touristy destinations will therefore see their number of visitors increase.

But staycations and vacations close to home won't disappear anytime soon. After all, many travellers consider it important to discover the world without harming it. Sustainable travel, without flying to the other side of the world, is therefore (still) on the rise.

3. Traveling for work? Or with work?

Some employees enjoy the freedom and luxury of being able to do their work from anywhere. 'Working from roam' will therefore become the new 'working from home', with consumers going abroad to open their laptops under the sun for two weeks. But there are also more and more people who prefer to travel with their work. Although they prefer not to work on vacation, they are happy enough to go on an outing with colleagues, paid for by the company. For that reason, many companies will invest in a retreat for their employees this year.

4. Off-grid trips (as long as there's WiFi)

Travelling remains a good way to escape from everyday reality. The idea of leaving that reality behind as much as possible and going completely off-grid will have more and more devotees in the coming year. But this kind of back-to-basics journey comes with a price: an inevitable lack of luxury and comfort. Many travellers therefore only consider going off-grid if this is not at the expense of a good WiFi or 5G connection.

5. New travel-mates in the backseat

The companions travellers take along will also be a bit different in 2023. For example, more than 1 in 10 millennials (born between 1980 and 1994) plan to bring a pet to their travel destination this year. Possibly a result of the many puppies that were adopted during the corona crisis.

Younger generations prefer not to take anything or anyone in the backseat: a third of generation Z (born between 1995 and 2012) especially yearn for adventure and would like to make a solo trip this year. This may also be an effect of the corona crisis, which has highlighted the importance of mental well-being. Me-time, self-reflection and the search for inner peace are an important motivation for many to strike out on their own.

6. Book everything in one click

In 2023 too, consumers' time is scarce. The digitisation of the travel sector is therefore continuing: travellers prefer to buy all their travel products in one place and in one click. From their plane tickets to their hotel and the theme park on day five. And of course, their travel insurance. Organisations that respond to the need for a one-stop-shop can increase their customers' travel convenience by offering them an E-Wallet that collects all their travel documents in one handy app. This way, they always have crucial data handy.

7. Cancellations remain a concern

During the corona crisis, consumers constantly worried about whether they would be able to travel. The global airline strikes in 2022 have further fuelled that uncertainty, albeit for a completely different reason. Those doubts will also have an impact this year, especially among price-conscious consumers who absolutely don't want to risk losing money.

Additions to cancellation or travel insurance policies that cover additional risks can give consumers the necessary confidence to book. In this way, companies in the travel sector can optimally assist their customers to travel without worries again.

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