10 Unexpected Travel Trends to Look Out for in 2023

If you're in the travel industry, then it's important to stay ahead of the curve and know what trends will be shaping tourism in 2023. That's why we've put together a list of 10 unexpected travel trends that are likely to take off over the next few years. Keep reading to find out what they are!

What's trending in travel for 2022?

It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a deep transformation to the travel industry in the past two years. For one thing, travelers were so busy learning how to cope with closed borders, resulting in many canceled plans and rebooking surcharges.

In 2022, however, people are starting to think about booking vacations again. As the industry gradually regains its footing in the wake of this pandemic, we can look forward to an optimistic future.

During the whole year, we could see a clear change in travelers’ behavior. A few drivers of this change are:

  • remote or flexible working
  • sustainability and responsible traveling
  • flexible cancellation policies by travel companies; and
  • the sentiment of 'revenge' travel

If you've been dreaming of traveling internationally for the past year, here's some good news: 2022 is expecting a strong rebound in international tourism.

In fact, it is reported that nearly half of travelers want to make up for their lack of travel in the past two years.

After almost two years of no jet-setting, this year marked the end of a long hard road for global tourism. Flights were filling up and entire countries were seeing an influx of visitors from all over the world.

It's not just travelers who are benefiting - countless hotels, attractions, restaurants, and other businesses that are reaping the rewards as well.

While it'll take another few years before we're back to pre-pandemic levels of tourism, things are certainly looking up in the travel trends for 2023.

What are the future travel trends in tourism?

Will travel increase in 2023?

If you’re planning on taking the plunge and exploring the world this year, great news! According to the U.S. Travel Foundation, travel spending is projected to increase in 2023, even more than what we saw in 2019! 

That means travelers all around the country will be packing their bags and booking their tickets for weekend getaways, day trips to historical sites, and international vacations alike.

Here's 2023 comprehensive list of tourism trade shows and conferences from virtual to in-person events- taking place all over the world. Don't miss out!

10 Travel Trends That Will Shape Tourism in 2023

Introducing the No-Normal

The Expedia Group recently made a groundbreaking report available online detailing the future of global travel behavior.

No Normal - Top Travel Trends

Called 'The No-Normal', the report highlights drastic changes in how people will experience travel in 2022 and 2023 – the ‘no-normal’ era of intimate, personalized journeys.

Travelers will seek out cultural experiences

Travelers in 2023 are ready for an enriched experience as they seek out cultural hotspots during their journeys.

From boutique museums to hidden street art and inaccessible ruins, people not only want to explore the increasingly popular destinations but also venture into less-known yet extraordinarily interconnected cultures.

Vacationers can look forward to unique travel experiences that combine traditional customs with modern trends, all while getting a little something off the beaten path that they wouldn't find anywhere else. The top destinations are Edinburgh and Lisbon, as they offer these experiences more.

If you want to boost your visitor numbers next year, consider offering more immersive experiences that combine cultural activities with some fun in the sun.

Streaming services will inspire epic journeys

Streaming services are quickly becoming more than just a source of entertainment - they're tour guides.

In 2023, two-thirds of global travelers surveyed reported considering vacations inspired by streaming shows and movies they've watched. Moreover, 39% have actually booked trips to explore these predetermined destinations.

So if you've ever wanted your destination to benefit from this travel trend, start partnering with streaming services to attract viewers and turn them into your customers.

The demand for wellness breaks will increase is predicting that by 2023, travelers will be looking for unconventional wellness activities during their getaways.

They'll be aiming to de-stress and restore balance to their mind and body with unique experiences like sylvotherapy (which involves guided meditations through a forest), national parks, puppy yoga, laughter therapy, and fruit harvesting.

Tourism industry promoting wellness breaks

If your travel business or tours has any wellness experience to offer, start promoting it now. With the rise of digital detoxes and mindful breaks, you'll be able to attract wellness-minded travelers and boost your profits in no time.

Remote areas are attracting more attention

2023 is looking to be the year of remote, adventurous gaming. With the great outdoors calling, and rustic ranches in vogue, people from all walks of life will be flocking to national parks and remote areas for work trips, weekend getaways, or longer stays.

There'll be more camping, and more utilizing nature's bounties for bird watching, star-gazing, and romantic backdrops - it'll be an outdoor enthusiast's paradise.

This will be good news for tour operators that offer natural attractions and outdoor adventures, and a great opportunity to attract people from all over the world.

It will be a quest for hidden treasures

Next year, visionaries will aim to create unforgettable experiences with their family and friends as they seek out what the world has to offer. With people looking to find hidden treasures - both bodily and metaphorical - there's never been a better time for travelers to step out of their comfort zone and break free from the routine of everyday life.

Those bold enough will be able to venture into hidden paradises, get lost in historical secrets, and think outside of the box while planning their next adventure. 

If your destination has hidden gems, then develop a strategy to promote them and maximize their potential. 2023 could be your most successful year yet!

Insights into Amadeus' Travel Trends 2023

Amadeus, one of the world's major IT providers for the tourism industry, just released their travel trends for 2023 report focusing on tech. It reveals that after pandemic restrictions are lifted, technology usage in travel and tours will be as important or even more important than ever before.

They also noted that this boosts travelers' accessibility to tour operators and reduces costs overall. With these types of tools and innovations becoming increasingly popular, it looks like this focus on tech is here to stay.

Metaverse as a tool for marketing destinations

With the travel industry being essentially shut down during the pre pandemic levels, it's forced marketers to come up with innovative ways to stay competitive in a sea of competitors.

Enter the Metaverse!, an immersive experience.

In 2023, savvy marketers will be taking advantage of upscale virtual reality software. Amadeus has declared that it can be used as a "try before you buy" platform for those of us out in the real world. 

We can't ignore the reality that tourism has been substantially impacted by the pandemic. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope and cause for optimism!

Photo credits: Seoul Metropolitan Government

Take Seoul, South Korea as an example: they have plans to introduce “Metaverse Seoul”, an augmented reality and virtual reality experience featuring must-see urban hotspots and tourist attractions, by 2023.

In the meantime, many cities are proactively developing new tourism initiatives both in physical and online world. So take heart – a post-pandemic surge of tourists may still be on its way - thanks to technology.

The use of biometric payment methods will increase

Get ready to say goodbye to cash, cards, and even smartphones as payment methods in travel services. The use of biometric payments will increase drastically in 2023, making it easier than ever to understand the hassle of transactions on the go.

Travelers will be able to pay for any service with a quick scan of their fingerprints or palm-vein scan. Even better, they can easily upgrade that long-haul flight or add snacks using only biometrics — no more wallets required.

Tour and activity operators must get ahead of the curve by providing contactless, secure and convenient biometric payments at every point. This means implementing digital payment processors – from credit/debit cards to fingerprint scans – as quickly as possible.

So, customers don't have to wait in long lines or take time out of their travels to manually process payments. This will even be possible in terms of paying for your in flight meal, sports equipment, and more.

The less luggage, the better

Travel is about more than just seeing new environments, experiencing adventure, and collecting souvenirs. It's also about leaving the world a better place.

The trend of more conscious travel is on the rise, and in 2023 less luggage will be the norm as travelers look to reduce their carbon footprint.

Less luggage in travel plans

However, it doesn't stop there. By traveling light, not only will visitors make their mark in terms of sustainability, but they'll also benefit host communities by purchasing essentials locally.

Supporting this movement are travel providers who should offer responsible and sustainable travel options for travelers at every step of their international travel.

2023 will see a rise in work from roam

2023's tourism industry is going to have a huge boost as more and more people shift to 'work from roam'.

Modern businesses are formalizing their remote work policies, meaning that rather than being tied down to one place, travelers can wander around for weeks or even months!

This opens up endless possibilities for the destinations they visit, with new places and experiences available around every corner.

Vacation rentals have long been a go-to for freelancers and remote workers seeking an alternative work spot. But now, the hotel industry are meeting the demand for it as well.

Destination providers now have the opportunity to introduce accommodations and experiences oriented toward this trend. Whether it’s a beachfront studio or an urban suite, hotels are offering long-term vacation rentals that let guests enjoy all the amenities and privacy.

Leisure travel takes on a whole new meaning

In 2023, leisure travel has truly been kicked up a notch. Trade conventions and business trips are no longer the only options – now companies are organizing trips to strengthen company loyalty and improve employee satisfaction.

More people enjoying the remote work journey

If your destination is famous for conventions and professional events, it’s time to think even bigger especially in strengthening relationships! Start promoting the city as an ideal spot for colleagues for team bonding and unlock creativity in ways like never before.

Final thoughts

2023 is poised to be the year of bouncing back. With travel already experiencing a resurgence in 2022, predictions are it will continue to swell in the new year.

This forecast means great news for companies and destinations that depend on tourism. Now, they’ll have plenty of opportunity to capitalize on eager travelers looking to explore after months of stagnant movement.

Indeed, 2023 is looking up as more restrictions are lifted and people start venturing out again, proving that nothing can keep us from enjoying new experiences.

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