5 travel trends for 2023

Global Hotel Alliance, the U.A.E.-based alliance of independent hotels, has identified five global travel trends for 2023.

In a recent survey of its GHA Survey loyalty program conducted in October and November, members revealed travel sentiment for the next year is positive, with many being comfortable with the idea of international travel. Members are more likely to travel for leisure than business in 2023, with some planning up to six holidays.

“Trends revealed in our survey paint a very positive picture for leisure travel in 2023, with our members signaling an overwhelming desire to globetrot, try new experiences and connect with family and friends, building on the momentum of this past year,” said GHA VP Kristi Gole. “The results are particularly encouraging against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty and with members telling us value for money and loyalty program benefits are now most influencing their hotel booking decisions.

Kristi Gole, vice-president of GHA

The top five global trends were:

  • Longing for leisure, with up to six trips planned — Travel sentiment is quite positive, with more than half of the respondents across every market comfortable with the thought of international travel next year. The U.K. was the most bullish market with 85% of respondents intending to travel internationally, followed by the U.A.E. and Singapore with 83% and 81% respectively. Across all countries, members are more likely to travel for leisure than business next year, planning on average between four and six leisure trips versus two to four business trips. In terms of frequency of trips, members from China and Germany expect to travel the most next year, with 6.1 and 5.9 leisure trips as well as 4.8 and 4.5 business trips anticipated respectively.
  • Japan emerges as most preferred country to visit — Members plan to mainly travel within their own regions again next year, especially those based in China, most likely due to existing travel restrictions, along with Singapore, Thailand, the U.S. and the U.A.E. Australians are sticking to Oceania for business but heading to Asia for leisure; members from the U.K. and Malaysia are looking to Europe for business trips and Asia for vacations; Canadians are favoring Europe for business but North America for leisure; and Germans prefer North America for business visits and Europe for holidays.
  • Experiencing new things, quality family time — The opportunity to ‘see and experience new things’ emerged as the main travel motivation, along with the chance to spend time with family and friends, while cities were the most desirable holiday hotspots, followed by beach destinations. Not many plan to travel with pets, but Europe is the region most comfortable with that. Mountain and countryside locations were on their travel radar, but not as popular.
  • Location and value — These two were the top two deciding factors influencing hotel and accommodation choices in the new year, highlighting that travelers are value-conscious. The GHA DISCOVERY loyalty program was named the third most important factor impacting decisions.
  • Love for loyalty — Respondents prefer to use hotel loyalty program channels to look for accommodation choices, more than online travel agents or brands’ or hotels’ own websites, and see the loyalty program as a close second for preferred booking channel after the hotel’s direct website.