The COVID-19 pandemic has finished and the travel industry has been recovering throughout 2022 at unprecedented pace. This new growth surge has led to the emergence of new travel trends and altered people’s demands and expectations. As a result, tour operators, agents and a multitude of travel startups have been able to capitalize on these changes and deliver innovative travel software to meet customer needs.
In this article, we will highlight the most prominent trends defining the travel industry development process in 2023 and will deal with the specifics and reasons for their popularity.
Bleisure and work in combination with family trips
Bleisure, the fusion of business travel and leisure activities, is a prominent trend in corporate tourism. It allows Generation Y, which includes people born between 1981 and 1996, to combine work and play every few months. Research by Travel Edge Network shows a 25% increase in bleisure trips, with their average duration exceeding 10 days.
This trend often involves group travel with family members, colleagues and friends. As a result, there is a much higher demand for larger and more spacious accommodation options.
Motorhome tourism travel software
While motorhome travel has been a part of the tourism industry for quite some time, it is now gaining increasingly more popularity as a logical outcome of the pandemic. This type of tourism appeals mostly to those seeking a sense of freedom and flexibility, as there are no strict schedules for cities or hotels to adhere to. With a motorhome, travelers can easily change their itinerary, explore unfamiliar locations, or choose destinations based on current mood or weather conditions.
Travel companies have actively engaged to support this trend by offering more motorhome rental options to interested tourists. This process, among other things, involves the implementation of more productive tour operator software to satisfy the growing demand.
Booking.com recently revealed that an increasing number of tourists (71%) give priority to more sustainable travel offers. In fact, 38% of these travelers have concerns for whether travel service providers are doing enough for environmental protection. As a result, finding eco-friendly accommodations has become significantly more challenging for many tourists.
This presents an opportunity for travel enterprises to address this customer pain point and expand their client base with a strong supply on sustainable housing options. To achieve that travel brands expand both the range of direct contracts and travel api provider integrations.
Local community tourism
In addition to seeking sustainable options, tourists are actively looking to engage with local communities during their trips. Rather than just seeking relaxation, they are willing to fully immerse in the local culture and gain unique experiences to expand their world outlook and perspective.
Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Research 2023 shows that 75% of travelers are looking for an authentic travel experience. There is also evidence to suggest that people want to support local communities financially as well. This presents an opportunity for both existing travel brands and startups to connect travelers with local communities, arrange and deliver meaningful experiences which exceed regular tourism offerings.
Health / recreational travel
The post-pandemic recovery period has seen a stable rising trend for wellness travel, which involves tourists seeking treatment and recuperation. This trend has always been popular, particularly among older adults. However, it has been heavily impacted by the past pandemic, with a 39% reduction in this type of travel that took place worldwide.
But, as the pandemic has receded, health tourism is now experiencing a surging growth rate. According to Medical Tourism Global Market Report 2023, the global medical tourism market will grow from $35.77 billion in 2022 to $39.95 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7%. And there are reasons to believe the growth trend will prolong over to 2024. travel software
Nomadic travel and emerging mobile work trends
The trend for mobile lifestyles is gaining popularity among digital nomads, who are typically remote workers and freelancers not tied to a specific location. They value high mobility and frequent changes of residence, taking into account factors such as Internet quality, climate, social and cultural environment when choosing a destination.
Prior to 2020, there were approximately 65 million freelancers worldwide, but this number is expected to reach one billion by 2035. To attract this type of tourist, several European countries are developing digital visas, recognizing the importance of digital nomads for the economy and society. This trend presents opportunities for all kinds of travel-related projects and startups catering to the growing demand for nomadic travel services.
Virtual reality is a growing trend in the tourism industry, offering travel companies a new competitive advantage. By providing virtual tours of hotels, restaurants, and landmarks, tourists can make informed decisions about their travel plans. This innovative approach to tourism presents opportunities for travel businesses to further enhance their services and attract more new and devoted customers.
Summary travel software
As vividly shown by the examples above, the tourism industry has been significantly impacted, leading to changes in travel trends and processes.
Tourists are now much more interested in experiences rather than material possessions, with entertainment spending increasing by 34% in 2023. Immersion and inclusivity have also become highly important factors of influence, with 92% of travelers demanding guarantees for transport, accommodation, and food. As a result, many tourists around the world are willing to pay a lot more for inclusive travel experiences.
Virtual reality is also becoming a popular tool for travel companies to offer virtual tours of hotels, restaurants, and landmarks, allowing customers to make informed decisions about their travel plans. This technology provides a new competitive advantage the benefits of which are yet to be fully grasped by travel businesses. In addition, Artificial Intelligence development and solutions are also expected to have a significant impact on the travel sphere.
Overall, tourists are seeking inner harmony, exploration, and safety when planning their travel experiences. And the fact that they show previously unexperienced levels of engagement in travel activities means the travel industry is likely in for a spell of continuous growth and development.