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Travel Trends For 2023 And Beyond

Every year sees a new onset of travel trends. Some stick (hello, Staycations) others thankfully don’t (bye bye, Tornado Tourism). For 2023 and beyond, these are the travel trends that we predict will keep on rising.

Flight-free getaways, TV-inspired travel and holistic retreats are set to be big this year. And it wouldn’t be 2023 without mentioning what artificial intelligence will do for our adventures (hint: not only will it help us have a more connected travel experience but it will contribute to a more sustainable hospitality world, too). Here’s what to look forward to as you travel this year, and beyond.

1. The Rise of Mother-Daughter Travel

Multi-generational travel has seen an increase over the last five or so years but seems to have picked up with speed post-quarantine. Neil Diamond, Head of Sales at Viking Cruises confirms that “over the past few years we have seen a rise in multi-generational bookings with families travelling with older children, parents and grandparents.” But another curious development for inter-generational travel is the rise of specifically mother-daughter travel. Zina Bencheikh, MD at the small group adventure travel company, Intrepid Travel, notes that they have seen “a trend of women in their twenties and thirties exploring the world with their mums as a way of reconnecting after the pandemic.” We’ve got our eye on their Premium Morocco Explore trip, as well as on Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from London to Venice.


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2. Ultra-Luxe: Go Big Or Go Home

After a couple of years with travel on-hold, it’s no surprise that many of us are planning to go big this year. Ultra-luxe trips are on the rise; for the trip-of-a-lifetime look no further than these 10 ultra-luxe destinations. From winter getaways in Switzerland to private island retreats in French Polynesia, the sky is no longer the limit but simply a means of getting you there. The sea is becoming an ever-more popular way of seeing the world, too, and luxury yacht experiences are quickly increasing in popularity. Ritz Carlton launched their Yacht Collection in October 2022, and Four Seasons have announced a similar yachting experience, due to set sail in 2025 in both the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Given that global yacht charter revenue is seeing a year-on-year growth of 4.9% and is set to reach $38 billion by 2031, this is a trend we can get on board with (pun intended).


3. Holidays That Mean Business

No, we’re not talking about ‘bleisure’ a term that blends the words – and concepts – of business and leisure trips together. Quite the opposite: we mean the important business of holidaying. A recent survey commissioned by British Airways with YouGov Plc, has found that 36% of Brits don’t take their full annual leave, 42% have felt stressed about work while on annual leave, and 48% check their work emails while OOO. Working with Uncommon Creative Studio, they’ve devised a humorous marketing campaign with a serious message: that taking a true break can help you live longer in addition to helping with mental health, marriages, and all-round wellness. With 500 individual print and digital assets developed, you’ve probably already seen the messaging. Now we suggest you act on it.


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4. Holistic Transformation

No longer does a wellness retreat simply mean a spa and soak: luxury hotels and resorts are upping the ante in their wellbeing offerings, and wellness-seekers are ever more open to trying new therapies. At Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle, Sri Lanka this means Ayurvedic treatments that focus on the pitta dosha to get rid of toxins, at Mandarin Oriental in Marrakech it means personal training and yoga sessions alongside crafts such as pottery or cooking classes to help relax the mind, at Byblos St. Tropez you can benefit from tailor-made health checks, and at The Farm At San Benito in the Philippines their medically-supervised programmes include sleep recovery, post natal care, weight management, and even techniques to support those suffering from long Covid. Closer to home, the Four Seasons are offering UK Winter Wellness packages to help energise your 2023.


5. Flight-Free

As many of us grapple with how to make our holidays as environmentally friendly as possible, the uptake in flight-free travel seems set to increase. Cat Jones, CEO and Founder of Byway Travel, a flight-free travel agency that launched in 2020, tells us they’ve seen “a seven times increase in demand for our flight-free holidays year on year” and continues to say that, “the carbon impact of rail travel is 9g of CO2 per passenger mile for Eurostar, compared to 156g for a short-haul flight.” But travel via train, car or boat has benefits beyond your carbon footprint too. This is a chance to really see the world and everything that comes in between the usual airport to airport hop. “The scenic route gives you time to get to know a place – its food, its landscapes, its people, its histories – and enjoy the freedom and unexpectedness of travelling overland,” says Jones. We agree.


6. Artificial Intelligence Backed Insights

IDC’s AI spend forecast predicts it to jump from $118 billion (2018) to more than $300 billion by 2026, and changes to travel make up some of that spend. As the end traveller you may not directly see the AI initiatives implemented, but you will feel the benefits of them. Thanks to data aggragetion, pre-travel personalisation will increase – expect increasingly targetted insights and adverts from airlines, hotels, and more. You’ll also find a streamlined process as you travel: smoother check-ins are well underway, and on-ground service will only get better and better. But it’s not all guest-focussed, AI is also helping with collective sustainability goals too. IHG have been using AI since 2019 to measure and reduce food waste, leading to a more sustainable business model. With eco-innovation as an outcome, we’re on-board the AI train (or plane).


7. Life Imitating Art

Who hasn’t binged-watched Emily in Paris over the last couple of years. We don’t believe you if you say you haven’t, and the chances are that the show has had you daydreaming about a trip to the French capital, too. According to Expedia, 46% of travellers have considered visiting a destination after watching shows based abroad, and 36% have made the leap (or in this case clicked the ‘book’ button). The travel booking platform also tells us they have seen an increase in bookings to countries that are showcased in popular movies and TV shows, with New Zealand, Paris and New York all making their current list of top destinations. Expedia brands spokesperson, Natalie Allard, said: “Set-jetting is a big trend this year, and according to Expedia data, films and series are more influential than social media when it comes to inspiration for trips. You can expect lots of travellers heading to Paris in search of love and, personally, I can’t wait to visit Hawaii for an epic hotel stay!” With more and more destination-based shows making their way to streaming services, this is a trend that looks likely to keep growing.


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