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Tourism / 7 surprising predictions for the travels of 2023

In Booking.com's most extensive annual survey of future travel, it appears that travel options worldwide are characterized by chaotic contradictions.

In particular, travelers everywhere feel significantly more optimistic about travel in 2023 compared to 2022 and, despite current global volatility, nearly three-quarters (72%) say that travel will always be worthwhile. Consequently, the travel mood changes from hopeful uncertainty to daring adaptability. If 2022 was about the triumphant return of travel, 2023 will offer creative food for thought in a travel landscape full of contradictions.

In detail, to understand how travel will be reshaped in 2023, Booking.com conducted extensive research with more than 24,000 travelers across 32 countries and territories to uncover 7 emerging travel predictions.

In a time of general upheaval, where war, increased social polarization, rising inflation and urgent concerns about climate change continue to fundamentally change the world, people find themselves in a multi-directional tug-of-war, trying to reconcile what is important to them. those, with the demands of everyday life. Travel forecasts for 2023 reflect this very sentiment, finding that traveler needs are moving in many different directions to adapt to the changing seasons.

Vacation in paradise

Back to nature: Jungle shelters, outdoor campfires and compasses - the chaotic years with natural disasters, political unrest and the pandemic, led to a piece of the travel pie to forgo the comforts of modern life. Almost half (44%) of global travelers want their travel experiences to feel more authentic and are looking for off-the-beaten-path vacations to escape reality (55%) and experience only the bare essentials (44%). Travelers also want to use travel in 2023 as an opportunity to learn survival skills (58%), including how to procure clean water (53%), start a fire from scratch (42%), find food in the wild (39%), even preparing for the next disaster (39%).

This trend shows that more earthy, eco-friendly accommodations will emerge, suited to accommodate aggrieved city dwellers looking for simplicity, as well as accommodations that will offer guests guidance on how to be more self-sufficient, e.g. how to procure the ingredients and how to prepare their meals during their stay. There is also a corresponding increase in wilderness survival schools, where travelers will learn the basic skills needed to survive after a serious event.

However, all of the above is expected to be combined with luxury, because as 56% answer, yes they will give up unnecessary luxuries, but they are also considering the possibility of combining both. At 48%, survey participants would like an enjoyable stay that would be off the beaten track and teach them basic survival techniques, but in a more walkable environment.

But how disconnected is the 2023 traveler really? More than half (53%) have the non-negotiable requirement of having a good mobile phone and internet signal in every situation and in every destination.

Digital Travelers promote Physical Travelers

Once it was space travel that was ambitious and "otherworldly", today virtual travel fills this need. With almost half of global travelers (43%) reporting that they will turn to virtual reality in the next year to explore their vacation options, it appears that in 2023, travel will seriously enter the ever-evolving 3D virtual space of the Metaverse.

With over a third (35%) of travelers looking to embark on a multi-day VR or AR travel experience, Metaverse will be more than 'try before you buy'. It will educate, entertain and inspire people, opening the door to an endless adventure. Travelers will no longer be limited to physical presence, as they will be able to experiment with different travel experiences. After 2023, virtual travel will become a truly immersive experience, involving senses other than sight, such as the three-dimensional tactile sensation of grains of sand and the warmth of the sun on the beach.

Travelers will be more adventurous in their choice of destinations by being able to visit them first in the Metaverse through their online avatars, especially convenient for those who may feel anxious before trying something new. In fact, 46% report that in this way they have more chances to travel to destinations that they would not otherwise dare to.

Although Metaverse will offer a new way to experience travel in the coming year, 3 in 5 respondents (60%) believe that a virtual experience is not enough to give an accurate picture and feel of a destination.

Different cultural experiences

In 2023, 50% of global travelers want to experience a very different culture from the familiar, whether it's traveling with completely different cultural experiences and languages ​​(51%) or exploring lesser-known cities with hidden secrets (30%).

As a result, travelers are forgetting the usual, favorite places, as next year they will look for unique vacations that shock, surprise and contain special delights. With almost 3/4 (73%) looking forward to experiencing travel that will push them to the limit, it looks like there will be an influx of specialist experiences which will encourage people to take their travel to the extreme. Almost half (47%) are looking for the world's most exotic delicacy, such as the hottest chili pepper, while 38% want to use their vacation on alien exploration or alien spotting tours.

After all that, it's no surprise that the 2023 traveler, at 28%, is considering buying a one-way ticket and following their gut about the core part of their trip.

Nostalgic escapes to other times

Amidst global instability and a desire for escape, people are aiming to create travel experiences that harken back to simpler times, with nostalgic getaways (88%) offering the thrill of reliving the good old days. There is a strong desire to romance the non-digital age, even among millennials and Gen-Zs who have never experienced it, with nearly a quarter (23%) of travelers chasing experiences that evoke false fond memories of bygone eras; such as e.g. visit landmarks or attractions featured in iconic retro films or choose the bus as their main mode of transport to experience the team spirit of school trips. In addition, travelers are putting relaxation aside and are increasingly seeking the adrenaline rush of theme parks (61%) and escape rooms or outdoor adventures such as treasure hunts in cities.

With millennials now parents of young children, destinations that were previously popular in the 80s and 90s will also increase, and they will be the first to book vintage-themed accommodations, and likely do so with their family by their side (54%) as family reunification tops the travel agenda in 2023.

Well-being and well-being, values ​​that remain

Wellness and meditation retreats are always popular with global travelers (44%), while two in five (40%) aim to find their peace in a quiet retreat. Furthermore, more than two-fifths (42%) seek holidays that promote mental or physical health.

Business travel is changing

The pandemic-induced work-from-anywhere trend has tired telecommuters and led them to decide to use their leave only for vacations. In detail, a significant proportion (66%) want 2023 travel to be strictly leisure, and while almost half (49%) are not interested in working while travelling, they will consider it on a case-by-case basis, depending on what their company.

As a result, business travel will be back on the agenda in 2023. But unlike pre-coronavirus business travel, workers are looking for more opportunities to build camaraderie in real life away from the office, reflecting demand for productive and creative business trips. It's a fact that 44% of the global workforce can't wait for their employer to plan a 'real life' work trip and just over half (51%) would like their employer to use the money they save from moving to hybrid models work, on corporate trips.

Businesses will also see benefits from this trend, as more than half (59%) of workers worldwide believe that exploring new locations will motivate them to be more productive at work.

Vacations: A significant investment

People will continue to put carefree getaways at the top of their agenda, with half (50%) of travelers saying that investing in a holiday remains a top priority. However, being budget conscious is key, with almost 7 in 10 (68%) travelers looking for different solutions in this direction.

It appears that in 2023, travelers will plan travel budgets more tightly by taking advantage of deals and smart timings (63%), prioritizing value for money with discounts and rewards programs (60%). More than half of travelers (53%) will try to save money by looking at off-season destinations or taking longer trips, while the majority (61%) will plan their trips in advance in the hope of securing a better deal. More than half (55%) believe that the best use of their budget is to choose one or two longer holidays, rather than many short getaways.

Against this backdrop, many travelers are prepared to pay more, with almost half (49%) admitting they plan to be more lenient in their spending habits while on holiday to make up for their lack of travel over the past two years, while 43 % plans to spend a lot more to make sure their trip is worth it.


The Travel Predictions 2023 Survey was commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or pleasure in the next 12-24 months. A total of 24,179 travelers in 32 countries and regions (including 1014 from Argentina, 1006 from Australia, 505 from Austria, 504 from Belgium, 1009 from Brazil, 503 from Canada, 1009 from China, 1010 505 from Colombia from Denmark, 1010 from France, 1001 from Germany, 500 from Hong Kong, 1005 from India, 504 from Ireland, 504 from Israel, 1008 from Italy, 1003 from Japan, 504 from Mexico , 502 from the Netherlands, 1007 from New Zealand 1009 from Portugal, 507 from Singapore, 1008 from South Korea, 1001 from Spain, 505 from Sweden, 508 from Switzerland, 500 from Taiwan, 504 from Thailand, 1006 from the UK, 1009 from the US and 504).