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ITB Berlin and IPK International: Big global increase in outbound travel in 2023

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Τhe return of outbound travel in Asia with a year-on-year increase of more than 140 per cent was the growth driver in 2023.

In 2023, outbound travel registered double-digit growth year-on-year, marking another big step in returning to the travel volume of 2019. Compared with 2022, this was a 33 per cent increase, only 12 per cent short of the base year level before the pandemic. Positive signs are above all the gradual return of outbound travellers in Asia and the upward trend in vacation travel. Despite rising travel costs, interest in outbound travel this year remains high – what is noticeable is that travel satisfaction is becoming an increasingly important factor.

Double-digit growth in outbound travel in 2023

According to the IPK’s World Travel Monitor, the return of outbound travel in Asia with a year-on-year increase of more than 140 per cent was the growth driver in 2023. Although still at 37 per cent below 2019 levels, this marked a significant upward trend. Compared with 2022, outbound travel in Europe increased by 18 per cent, in North America by 31 per cent, and in Latin America by 27 per cent. In 2023, the outbound travel volume was largest in the US, followed by Germany and the UK. Together, these three largest source markets made up one-third of the global outbound travel volume last year.

In 2023, outbound travel registered double-digit growth year-on-year, marking another big step in returning to the travel volume of 2019. Compared with 2022, this was a 33 per cent increase, only 12 per cent short of the base year level before the pandemic. Positive signs are above all the gradual return of outbound travellers in Asia and the upward trend in vacation travel. Despite rising travel costs, interest in outbound travel this year remains high – what is noticeable is that travel satisfaction is becoming an increasingly important factor.

IPK_chart

Double-digit growth in outbound travel in 2023

According to the IPK’s World Travel Monitor, the return of outbound travel in Asia with a year-on-year increase of more than 140 per cent was the growth driver in 2023. Although still at 37 per cent below 2019 levels, this marked a significant upward trend. Compared with 2022, outbound travel in Europe increased by 18 per cent, in North America by 31 per cent, and in Latin America by 27 per cent. In 2023, the outbound travel volume was largest in the US, followed by Germany and the UK. Together, these three largest source markets made up one-third of the global outbound travel volume last year.

Most popular destinations in 2023 – Spain is most-visited again and Dubai highest-rated

At almost ten per cent, Spain is globally the most-visited destination again, followed by the USA. IPK’s Destination Performance Index (DPI) found Dubai to be the highest-rated destination in 2023. In compiling the DPI, the World Travel Monitor took into account all global outbound holiday trips with regard to travel satisfaction, whether travellers would recommend a destination to others, and their desire to return. Among the five highest-rated destinations behind Dubai were the Maldives, last year’s winner, South Africa and Abu Dhabi. Austria and Switzerland were the highest-rated destinations in Europe.

Vacations are in demand – sun and beach destinations top the list

Compared with 2022, vacationing as the reason for making a trip improved its market share yet again. In 2023, three-quarters of global outbound trips were vacations. Within this segment, sun and beach vacations and city breaks dominated, each occupying around one-third of the market. Third-placed were round trips. What is striking is that the market shares of these three went in different directions during the last three years, but are now at similar levels to 2019. This suggests the pandemic has not substantially changed people’s choice of vacation. In 2023, the main factors for an outbound holiday trip were relaxation, sightseeing, good food and shopping.

Air travel is the main form of transport

In 2023, over 60 per cent of outbound travel was by air – making air travel the most popular form of transport for international travel. However, it is worth noting that when asked how travellers moved around at their destination, the majority stated “public transport“. One-fifth said they used a rental car.

Significant rise in travel expenses in 2023

Due to the increased cost of travelling, especially by air, travel expenses rose above average in 2023, while the median number of overnights remained stable at around nine. When asked about the best and worst aspects of a trip, travellers mostly answered “value for money“, from both a positive and negative angle. Other factors important for travellers are accommodation, catering, and the local natural surroundings.

Crisis fully over by the end of 2024

Some travel destinations and travel markets have already recovered to 2019 levels, while others are distinctly lagging. In 2023, some destinations again suffered from overtourism. One-third of respondents said they felt their destination was overcrowded. Nevertheless, the latest findings of the World Travel Monitor forecasting global outbound travel trends over the next 12 months are positive and lay the foundation for a full recovery in almost every market and segments by the end of 2024.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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