Compared to 2022, people around the world feel much more hopeful about travel in 2023, and despite some current global turmoil, more than 72% believe that travel will always be worth it. The atmosphere changes from one of cautious optimism to one of courageous flexibility. Unlike 2022, when travel made a triumphant return, 2023 will be about rethinking travel in innovative ways amid upheaval. Everyone will try to strike the perfect balance in a contradictory environment, so nothing will be off limits and everything will be on the menu.
Digital travel company Booking.com has made seven emerging travel predictions, using extensive research with more than 24,000 travelers from 32 countries and territories, including India, to understand how they might reimagine travel in 2023.
People find themselves in a tug-of-war from many directions, trying to balance what is important to them with the demands of everyday life, in a time of general upheaval where war, growing societal polarization, rising inflation and concerns urgent about climate change, all continue to radically change the world. This mood is reflected in travel projections for 2023, which show that traveler demands are shifting in many different directions to keep up with the trends.
Preppers in Paradise: Camouflaged cabins, campfire kitchen and compasses; unplugging will never be more in demand than in 2023. Sixty-four percent of Indian travelers want their travel experiences to have a more stripped back to basics feel and are constantly looking for “off-grid” vacations to escape reality and disconnect and experience life only with what is strictly necessary. Seventy percent of Indian travelers are also keen to use travel in 2023 as an opportunity to learn survival skills. Expect to see more eco-friendly, earthy stays that cater to burnt-out city dwellers looking for simplicity, as well as accommodations that offer guidance to Indian travelers on how to be more self-sufficient.
However, “off-grid” in 2023 will not necessarily mean developing it. There is a common perception that this means giving up luxury (67 percent of Indian travelers think so), yet there is a strong desire to combine the two, with 65 percent only considering “off-grid” travel if they can a more indulgent stay.
Virtual travelers: With 70% of Indian travelers reporting that they will turn to virtual reality next year to inspire their holiday choices, travel will enter the ever-evolving 3D virtual space of the Metaverse in 2023. With 61% of Indians keen to embark on an experience multi-day VR journey, Metaverse will be more than “try before you buy”; it will educate people, opening the door to infinite adventure. Travelers will become bolder in their real-life travel choices after being able to visit them in the Metaverse first through their online avatar. While the Metaverse will offer a new way to experience travel in the coming year, it still won’t stop people from booking a ticket to their next destination.
Delight in the discomfort zone: Whether it’s bottled energy, a new lease on life, the world is ready to dive into other cultures and new experiences head first. 71 percent of Indian travelers want to experience a complete culture shock in 2023 – whether that’s traveling somewhere with completely different cultural experiences and languages 63 percent or exploring lesser-known cities with hidden gems that aren’t already on the radar 27 percent. Forget the usual favourites, in 2023 Indian travelers will be looking for unique holidays that shock, surprise and delight.
Ninety-six percent of Indian travelers look forward to experiencing “outside their comfort zone” travel that pushes them to the limits, there will be an influx of niche experiences that encourage people to push their travel escapades to the extreme . Unsurprisingly, this “culture-shaking” Indian traveler is also partial to throwing caution to the wind, with 46% wanting to buy a one-way ticket in 2023 and follow their gut wherever it takes them.
Admiring the good days: Amid the desire for escapism, people are looking to create travel experiences reminiscent of simpler times, with 95 percent nostalgic getaways offering the thrill of reliving the glory days at the top of the wish list in 2023. There is a desire – even for millennials and Gen. -Day they’ve never experienced – fade into the romance of a pre-digital age, with 28% of Indian travelers pursuing experiences that evoke (false) emotional memories of days gone by, such as visiting landmarks or attractions presented in iconic retro movies or opting for a bus as the main means of transport to experience the group spirit of school trips.
Travelers are no longer ditching play for rest and relaxation, with 76% of Indians increasingly seeking the adrenaline rush of theme parks and drawing on the imagination with activities such as escape rooms, scavenger hunts and building giant block forts. Millennial travelers will be the first to book emerging themed accommodation that transports them back to a time they hold close to their hearts and are likely to do so with family at 54% with multi-generational trips of “ family reunion” top of the travel agenda in 2023.
Peace and Pleasure Pilgrimages: Travel will take mind, body and soul health to the next level in 2023 – a completely immersive, no-holds-barred approach to achieving peace and pleasure, including less conventional ways to experience bliss. Looking to renew the mind, meditation and mindfulness retreats are ever-popular with 70% of Indian travelers, while 63% aim to find peace on a silent retreat and 59% are keen to embark on a wellness break that focuses on mental health, transformation. health or helping with life stages such as menopause or pregnancy.
For those seeking enhanced spiritual experiences to stir the soul, alternative substances such as cannabis or plant-based psychedelics such as ayahuasca or mushrooms will become a more popular offering, with 64% keen to try this type of experience experimental wellness as part of their 2023. travel.
From Daily Grind to Great Company Escape: A shift away from the “work from anywhere” policy that is now almost as common as annual leave, employees are increasingly keen to save vacation time for a complete getaway. Seventy-five percent of Indians want their travel to be strictly work-free in 2023, and while 64% are not interested in working while away, they would consider a retreat or company trip. As such, business travel will return in 2023.
The year 2023 will see an increase in destination business retreats, where the focus will be on strengthening relationships and corporate recreation rather than work. In fact, 68% of India’s workforce look forward to their employer planning a “real-life” work trip to bring people together, and 69% would like their employer to use the money saved by switching to remote work /hybrid. models spent on corporate travel or retreats. In response, companies will also see benefits – 76% of Indians believe that exploring new places will inspire them to be more productive at work.
Save in Splurge: Indian travelers in 2023 will continue to prioritize travel, but will be more mindful of how to make the most of their travel budget and what takes priority. Sixty-nine percent of Indian travelers will invest in a vacation as it remains a priority for them, but being budget-conscious is key, with nearly 75% of Indians continuing to highlight travel as they look for more for their money. 2023 will see a more financially savvy itinerary, with people planning travel budgets better, taking advantage of deals, hacks and timely travel, and prioritizing value for money with discounts and loyalty programs. 69% Indians will look to save money by considering off-season destinations or longer routes per trip, while 72% will plan their trip with more time in the hope of securing a better deal. 71% think the best use of their budget is to opt for one or two longer holidays instead of several short breaks.
In this context, Indian travelers are also surprisingly willing to spend – and even pay – for the components of their trip that mean the most to them. Seventy percent admit they plan to be more lenient with their vacation spending habits to make up for the lack of travel over the past two years, while 67 percent plan to spend lavishly to ensure they maximize their trip and every experience. deserve.
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