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How will we travel in 2023? – Part1

2023 has just started! It’s time for some New Year’s resolutions. For our future travel destinations and for the way we will travel. Which tourists do we want to be? […]

2023 has just started! It’s time for some New Year’s resolutions. For our future travel destinations and for the way we will travel.

Which tourists do we want to be? What hosts do we want to find? How do we want to travel in 2023? Two and a half years of pandemic, a truly new situation for most of us, has affected not only the way we traveled, but also the way we think and plan our future travels.

We don’t look at destinations in the same way. We don’t pick them anymore one or two years ahead as we learned that long term planning can backfire.
We search for more experiences, wider way of enjoying ourselves when we go to a new destination.

We return. Much more than before. And mostly we do so in destinations we have discovered or re-discovered during pandemic.

Destinations that gave us again the good memories we need. That nurtured us in a time of need. That nested us when we needed relief.
So, here are some of the main trends for travel in 2023, according to my humble opinion. More to follow…

  1.  Our mental health has struggled more than ever with the pandemic. Heavy uncertainty in the world, big changes in the daily routines, the diminished role of work location as nomadism took over, all of these factors and more will be playing a key role in our choice on where to go and what country to visit in 2023.
    Destination: for a greater piece of mind.
    Full evasion means thinking out of the box, also in terms of adventure. More “beyond” as well as “same is safe”.
  2. As home/domestic became a great competitor for far away destinations, the level of quality searched outside of our comfort zone is higher. And quality means definitely all the things we want but also, more and more, sustainable choices from the destination and the host.
    Money spent make more sense in a greater circular framework. If they are well communicated, of course, and the guest/tourist feels he/she is part of the game. A well explained relationship between the sustainable choices and the price paid give a very grounded perspective to the “consumer” who will most likely return if he/she feels good about the impact generated by his/her presence at destination and participation to activity.
  3. Airports and airlines will have a greater impact on our choices. We all remembered the lost luggages and the long waits for luggage delivery or the overprice for 0,50 kg of extra luggage, or the obligation to deliver that small trolley just because of that number 5 on your boarding pass. Not to mention the lack of reimbursement for cancellation due to Covid, the call centers that do not work, the zero assistance at airport due to the massive laid offs.
    The airlines which gave us a better experience and the airport with less stress are going to be a key element of the final choice. However nice the destination, if reaching it is impossible and/or difficult… forget it!

Tourism, is the main driver for economic growth is also a great change generator and implementor.

See you soon!

Alessandra Priante is Director - Regional Department for Europe at World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).