“Full culture shock”: will you continue these travel trends in 2023?

Holidaymakers want to experience “full culture shock” in 2023, according to new research.

58% of travelers want to “get out of their comfort zone‘ next year, according to a Booking.com poll of more than 24,000 people.

Tourists will prioritize far-flung and adventurous travel – with 40% of respondents expressing a desire to “ culture shock.’

Nearly half (47%) of travelers will look for a destination with cultural experiences and languages ​​in their home country, while a quarter (24%) want to visit lesser-known cities off the beaten track.

The poll – which surveyed people from more than 32 countries – is good news for the industry, said Arjan Dijk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Booking.com.

“While they may navigate chaos and embrace contradiction, it is undoubtedly reassuring for the industry to learn that travel is very back to the agenda in a way that is perhaps more exciting and creative than ever,” he says.

“Despite global uncertainties, the industry will be bolstered by travelers seeking an escape that takes them out of their own reality.”

What are the new travel trends for 2023?

More than two-thirds (68%) of travelers feel more optimistic about traveling next year compared to last year, the survey found.

But where will they go?

According to research, 57% of travelers want to go ‘off the grid‘ – although perhaps contradictory, WIFI coverage is “non-negotiable” for 54% of people.

A third of travelers want a ‘back to basics feel – but others will escape modern life by looking back in time.

Many people are “glorifying the good old days”, reads the Booking.com report, with 84% of people looking for a “nostalgic” trip.

Period-themed accommodations — think 70s disco balls or 90s kitsch — are becoming increasingly popular, as are old favorites.

“There will be an increase in previously popular destinations in the 80s and 90s such as Budva in Montenegro or Bolzano in Italy, popular for its retro Christmas markets“, predicts Booking.com.

For some people, health travel is appealing: 41% of respondents say they are drawn to meditation and mindfulness getaways, while three in five (29%) hope to find peace in a silent retreat.

Business travel will be back on the agenda next year. 40 per cent of UK workers want their employers to use the money saved from switching to remote/hybrid work to pay for Company trip or retreats.

How will the cost of living crisis impact travel in 2023?

Although travel is a priority for many people, worsening ccost of living crisis changes people’s holiday preferences.

Half of UK travelers will be looking to save money by considering out of season destinations or longer routes on the journey, while more than half (53%) will plan their trip further in advance in the hope of getting a better deal.

But that’s not impacting everyone – 38% admit they plan to be more forgiving in their holiday spending habits to make up for the lack of travel over the past two years.

Helen D. Jessen