HotelPlanner today announced its top 10 travel trends of 2023. HotelPlanner anticipates another record year for the company in terms of bookings and growth.
“The mindset of travelers in 2023 will be to book that well-deserved adventure to a new city, dream resort or new corner of the world,” says Tim Hentschel, co-founder and CEO, HotelPlanner.
“Today’s travelers want to create special memories with friends and family, while others want their social media to reflect how adventurous they are,” says Philip Ballard, Chief Communications Officer, HotelPlanner. “Others crave remote, uncrowded locations and privacy and are willing to pay for it. And millions of others travel on business with their families to extend the journey into a mini-vacation. We would summarize all these trends as “purpose driven travel.’”
Top 10 travel trends of 2023, according to HotelPlanner
- Travel exchange rate – The weakening of the pound and the euro have given Americans more purchasing power parity with Europe than at any time since the early 1980s. If ever there was a time for Americans to save money in Europe, it’s now. And it’s not just the Americans who take advantage of “currency arbitrage.” Savvy travelers around the world choose where to travel based on the best exchange rate. For example, the Japanese yen hasn’t been that weak against the US dollar since 1990, making a trip to Japan more affordable right now in relative terms.
- Luxury travel – Of all the new travel trends, luxury travel may be the biggest takeaway from the pandemic. Millions of people have struggled to save their increased disposable income or started new businesses and careers and now have the financial means for a more personalized, luxury, inclusive or other luxury experience. This may include flying privately, staying at an all-inclusive resort, going on an exotic safari, ski trip or cruise, or simply staying in more luxurious hotels and eating at nicer restaurants.
- Honeymoons – About one in four Americans traveled in 2022 for a wedding-related event. 2023 will be no different. After two years of waiting to get married, there will be unprecedented demand for wedding event space and hotel blocks next year. Given the waiting list for venue space, many couples choose destination weddings such as the Caribbean or Hawaii, or in their family’s home country.
- Journey of revenge – Despite inflation, after two years of limited travel due to pandemic restrictions, millions are eager to make up for lost time. The industry calls this trend “revenge trips.” But what does that really mean? It means millions of people are saying to their spouse or partner, “Honey, let’s finally go to Paris! It’s now or never. We deserve to go big. I earned it.” This is the typical mindset of travelers right now. They just want to see the world because life is short. The travel “FOMO” is real.
- Digital Nomads – These are remote workers whose employers allow them to work from wherever they want. Millions of digital nomads are now taking advantage of this new freedom from the office. These are people who might visit five cities or five countries over several weeks or months and work out of coffee shops and extended stay hotels and AirBnBs. This trend has created a new category of traveler: the digital nomad. And they are here to stay. Hotels are already spending millions to directly market digital nomads with extended stay incentives.
- Bleisure Travel – This is a combination of business and leisure travel, where the average employee is on a business trip from Monday to Thursday and then extends their trip for a mini-vacation, often with their spouse or family in tow. With corporate travel still recovering, customers should take advantage of the “Saturday Night Stayover” deal, where many airlines and hotels will offer discounts if you extend the weekend.
- Sustainable travel – Travelers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious about the carbon footprint of their travels and the positive or negative impact their travels can have on the planet. Travelers are increasingly looking for “green” hotels and transportation options, as well as “environmental impact” or “sustainable travel,” where part of the experience includes local philanthropic events like growing a community garden or cleaning up a beach – almost like a week-long mini “Peace Corps”.
- Multi-generational travel – Traveling with three or even four generations of family members is becoming more popular as people realize that grandma and grandpa won’t be around forever. We are witnessing an increase in mass travel–generational families traveling together. This could be a big family reunion or just inviting the grandparents to join the family on a weekend trip.
- Heritage trips – With the increased popularity of sites like 23 & Me and Ancestry.com, people are rediscovering their family roots and tracing their lineage back to their ancestors’ country of origin. This has led to an increase in heritage travel, where families travel all over the world to visit the hometown of their great-great-great-grandparents.
- Cannabis tourism – With dozens of US states now offering various forms of legal marijuana, this has created a new market of travelers visiting states where cannabis is much easier to obtain legally than wherever they live. These aren’t just trips to Amsterdam ‘hash bars’ anymore. There are now Denver hotels promoting specifically to “420 Friendly Travelers,” and not just on April 20thbut throughout the year.