Travel TrendsFrom bucket list trips to sustainable travel, Contiki has identified the top traveller trends for agents to capitalise on.

The 11 hottest trends shaping travel in 2023

The 18 to 35 year olds are the ones travelling the most compared to the older crowd.
The 18 to 35 year olds are the ones travelling the most compared to the older crowd. Photo Credit: Cheryl Teo

As countries start to relax their Covid-19 restrictions and young people continue to prioritise travel, youth may very well be the fuel that propels travel to return to normal in 2023. From the research conducted by Contiki, the following are the top 11 travel trends to look out for in the coming year.

1. Bucket list travel

With the return of normal air services and relaxed travel restrictions, 2023 is expected to be the year that travellers finally take the trips they've been dreaming of for the past three years, afraid that the rug may get swept out under them anytime.

2. Sustainable travel

Travellers are becoming more aware of the need to travel responsibly, with young people being more loyal to brands that share their values and are committed to reducing their carbon footprint. This is also linked to the rise in plant-based living, as consumers become more conscious of the impact of animal agriculture on the environment.

3. Young people are travelling more

Travellers aged 18 to 34 averaged 2.2 more international trips and 1.3 more domestic trips than those aged 65 and over in the past year. This trend is expected to continue in 2023, with the older demographic playing catch-up.

Young people were arguably the quickest to recover. We expect this trend to continue into 2023, albeit the older demo will play a strong catchup game.– Adam Armstrong

4. Long trips are in

Pre-pandemic, long trips were declining in popularity, but in 2023, they are soaring due to the global cost-of-living crisis and increased flight prices. The average length of a trip has increased from around 10 days to two weeks.

5. Multi-country trips are making a comeback

With easier border crossing, multi-country trips, where travellers visit 8-9 countries in two weeks, are becoming more popular again.

6. Social travel is becoming more popular

The lack of social gatherings and events in the past 2-3 years has affected young people, leading to an increased hunger for human connection. This is reflected in a 10% increase in multiple bookings, rather than solo bookings, and a surge in bookings for 6-bed hostel dorms.

7. Travel inspired by music and TV

According to Expedia, two-thirds of global travellers have considered visiting a destination inspired by a movie or TV show. Young travellers are also drawn to grassroots music scenes, offering the chance to discover new artists.

8. Local experiences

With the rise of sustainability and a hunger for human connection, culturally immersive local experiences continue to grow in popularity. In a survey by Hilton, 49% of respondents said they were looking to undertake such experiences while travelling in 2023.

9. Planning ahead

With travel becoming more expensive, travellers are expected to plan their trips in advance and be more careful with their spending. Budget accommodations are also set to become more popular.

10. Musical pilgrimages

During the pandemic, TV and headphones were the only escape for many people. As a result, destinations inspired by music and TV are becoming more popular, with Israel being one example with its underrated music scene.

11. Plant-based living

Consumers are becoming more concerned about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and are therefore turning to plant-based living. This trend is expected to continue in 2023 and beyond.

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