It is essential to be aware of all the latest and upcoming technological trends in the hospitality & tourism related industries. While some trends can affect multiple industries, some are very specific for the industry.
With increased air access to Africa and traveler confidence building steadily, Africa is expected to be a hot ticket for U.S. travelers in 2023. This presents incredible opportunities for travel advisors, Africa specialists say.
Travelers turn to Africa because it offers sustainable travel with ample opportunities to give back in meaningful ways, Banda agreed. “There has never been a stronger focus on sustainable travel in Africa given the severe impact of the global pandemic and the importance of wildlife conservation,” he said. “Clients are seeking emerging destinations and more off-the-beaten-path destinations across the continent. They are yearning for life-changing experiences.”
According to Travel Weekly, the opportunity lies in the fact that travelers to Africa are more welcoming of guidance than ever before and that 2023 could well be considered as the year travel goes ‘back to normal.’ More and more countries are relaxing their Covid-19 restrictions and, even in the face of a global cost-of-living crisis, young people are continuing to prioritize travel.
Here are some of the top global travel trends to expect, according to Getaway, from the year ahead, including multi-country trips, musical pilgrimages, and sustainable travel.
1. Bucket list travel
With airlines returning to normal and more and more countries relaxing their travel restrictions, 2023 is tipped to be the year that travelers finally embark on the trips they’ve spent the last three years dreaming about.
‘The prevailing sense is that travel has been, and could again be, taken away from us,’ says Natasha Lawrence, Commercial and Product Development Director of Contiki, the world’s leading social travel brand. ‘2023 is the opportunity to make it count.’
2. Sustainable travel
Another travel trend is travelers who are becoming increasingly aware of the need to travel responsibly. Young people are loyal to brands that share their values, and that are committed to reducing their carbon footprint.
Also linked to sustainability is the rise in plant-based living. Rebecca Gade Sawicki, Creator of Veggies Abroad, says that ‘at least 15% of greenhouse gases are attributed to animal agriculture. Consumers are concerned about what’s on their plate and its impact on the planet.’
3. Young people are travelling more than others
During the past year, 18 to 34-year-olds averaged 2.2 more international trips and 1.3 more domestic trips than those aged 65+ and over.
Adam Armstrong, Contiki’s CEO says that ‘young people were arguably the quickest to recover. (They) expect this trend to continue into 2023, albeit the older demo will play a strong catch-up game.’
4. Long trips are in
Pre-pandemic, long trips were declining in popularity. In 2023, they’re soaring.
‘Our average length of trip has increased,’ says Natasha Lawrence. ‘Pre-pandemic it was around 10 days;’ whereas this year it’s around two weeks.
‘I think the rising cost of flights and air plays into this… if you are going to take a long haul flight, you want to spend more time in the destination at the other end.’
5. Multi-country trips are making a comeback
Multi-country trips, where travelers often visit 8-9 countries in two weeks, have also increased in popularity.
‘During the pandemic, people were more cautious about crossing borders…’ says Adam Armstrong. ‘Now that it’s easy to cross borders, multi-country trips are rock-and-rolling again.’
6. Social travel is becoming more popular
It’s safe to say that 2-3 years of missing out on birthday parties, festivals, and other social gatherings has affected young people more than their parents and grandparents. A 10% increase in multiple bookings (as opposed to solo bookings) highlights an elevated hunger for human connection among young people.
7. Travel inspired by music and TV
According to Expedia, ⅔ of global travelers have considered visiting a destination inspired by a movie or TV show they’ve watched. Grassroots music scenes have also become a huge draw for young travelers, offering up the chance to discover new artists before they break.
Neither of these travel trends are surprising given that TVs and headphones were most people’s only escape during the pandemic.
8. Short lead times
Probably not the news most travel advisors will want to hear, but last-minute bookings to Africa will continue to be rife in 2023, said Cindy Sheedy Walker, a consultant with Extraordinary, a collection of luxury hotels and lodges in Southern Africa. Travelers are feeling the urge for spontaneous adventure and discovery, added Craig Glatthaar, head of sales for the Americas at Wilderness Safaris. “In a post-pandemic era, the need for some adventure in life is a growing trend.”