Travel Trends

After a turbulent time in which travel was virtually off the table, demand is rising and travelers are planning their next getaway. But with the landscape changing so quickly, many brands are left guessing what consumers want now and what will drive new bookings in the future. Fortunately, 2023 has brought with it an opportunity for travel brands to learn more about the big trends shaping consumer behavior.

One of the biggest trends is a renewed focus on sustainability. In a post-pandemic world, travelers are more aware of the impact their travel has on local communities and the environment. They’re seeking out destinations that are less crowded and more sustainable, and they’re willing to pay more for brands that prioritize sustainability and social responsibility.

Travelers are also turning to social media and influencers to inspire their next trip. In fact, 60% of Gen Z respondents say that social media (in the form of ads or posts from friends/family or celebs/content creators) influences their decision on where to go for vacation. This is a huge opportunity for travel brands to connect with their audience and promote their products.

Millennials and Gen Zs are also looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint while traveling. In fact, 37% of millennials and Gen Zs say they’re very/extremely concerned about the environmental impact of their trips. That’s why it’s important for travel brands to offer sustainable packages, and they should incorporate sustainability into their marketing efforts in order to reach this key demographic.

In addition to sustainability, consumers are looking for more authentic experiences when they travel. This is driving a strong interest in off-the-beaten-path destinations. Millennials are especially drawn to places that have a rich cultural history or are home to thriving local economies. This is a great opportunity for travel brands to showcase unique, authentic, and sustainable destinations to these key audiences.

Another trend that’s growing in popularity is “set-jetting”—traveling to the locations of favorite TV shows or movies. This is a great opportunity for travel companies to promote specific activities, such as guided tours or culinary experiences, in the settings of popular shows and movies. For example, Expedia reports that Paris (as featured in Emily in Paris) and Sicily (as featured in The White Lotus) are hot destinations for set-jetting in 2023.

Lastly, consumers are also bringing their pets along on vacation. This is a huge opportunity for hotels to market pet friendly rooms and attractions, as well as to offer special amenities like onsite dog parks or pet spas. In fact, some hotel chains are even creating their own pet-friendly clubs and vacation packages for their guests.

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