The 2023 trends on our radar

January is a long cold month in many parts of the world, but one thing it does bring is lots of exciting travel industry predictions for the year ahead!

Looking to 2023 and beyond, we’ve enjoyed reading about everything from flying in planes designed by AI, to $80 hotel pasta dishes, and thinking about the part we’ll play as the travel sector continues to evolve.

Busy minds are ticking away at Joyned HQ!

For now though, here are four of the key trends on our radar for 2023:

The Anywhere Traveler – in its 2023 Megatrends research, Skift has identified the rise of a new class of ‘anywhere travelers’. Well worth a read, according to Skift’s report, millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest generation in the United States.

Now in their mid 30’s (yes, this took us by surprise too!), there are 72 million millennials in the US, well-established in their careers with money to spend on travel. Looking to find new experiences rather than follow the crowd, these 30 somethings’ combine remote working with seeking out unique experiences, earning them the ‘anywhere traveler’ badge.

The ‘No Normal’ – a clever play on words from Expedia in its ‘Unexpected travel trends of 2023’ report the ‘No normal’ sees the rise of a new breed of traveler, one not willing to compromise post pandemic and accept a ‘one size fits all’ approach from travel operators. Expect the unexpected, is the message.

As Expedia’s Jon Gieselman, puts it “We’re seeing a surge in trips to culture capitals, a new wave of interest in wellness retreats, and a spike in demand for outdoor destinations beyond just beaches and mountains — not a new normal, but people branching out to unexpected trends in what we’re calling the ‘no-normal’”.

Try before you buy – talk of the metaverse created a buzz across most industries in 2022, but what does it actually mean for the travel sector and how will we use it?

According to travel giant Amadeus’ 2023 Travel Trends report, the opportunity to explore a destination virtually in the metaverse before you book a trip is fast becoming a reality.

Walt Disney and Qatar Airways are just two of the big names getting involved in 2023, giving customers the chance to ‘try before they buy’. (Can you handle the new gravity defying roller coaster at Disney’s virtual theme park after all?!)

Another pretty cool element of this is that it also lets people return to destinations they’ve already visited and relive happy memories or explore further.

Software in the Spotlight – this one is music to our ears! Tour operators have started to embrace software. Skift’s Rashaad Jordan and Justin Dawes say that travel agents have been slow in adopting technology in the past, but were forced to rapidly deploy platforms during the pandemic to survive.

Fortunately, it looks as if this necessity to update systems has paid off, with this investment now providing travel companies with a welcome post-pandemic boost.

There’s still work to be done though. Arival’s recent survey of over 3,500 tour operators found that more than half are still not using an online booking system. 

Hope is on the horizon however for innovative software providers (phew!) with the global tour operator software market set to rise in value from $500 million in 2020 to $1.2 million by 2026 (Facts & Factors research).

Of course, these are just some of the many trends and tribulations for 2023 and it’ll remain to be seen how the year plays out. In the meantime we’ll continue to keep our finger on the pulse of all things new in travel and tourism – watch this space!

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