Boom in experiential travel predicted for 2023

Leisure travellers are seeking escapism through the pursuit of “culture shock” experiences while keeping to a strict budget, research by reveals.

More than half(56%) will prioritise value for money by taking advantage of discounts and loyalty schemes.

Sixty per cent plan to budget more tightly and take advantage of deals, hacks and smartly timed travel. 

Holiday planning is likely to take longer than in previous years as people consider all possible options for their itinerary before booking. 

There is also likely to be a rise in off-peak bookings, as 49% will look outside the usual windows for cheap deals. 

Short city breaks may see a slight decrease as 46% believe that best use of their budget is on one or two longer holidays.

As many as 68% of UK travellers are feeling more optimistic about travel in 2023 than 2022, while 66% report that travelling will be worth the wait despite global instability.

Meanwhile, 58% of UK travellers are looking to experience ‘out of comfort zone’ travel that pushes them to the limits. 

Forty per cent want to experience radical culture shock in 2023, whether that is completely different cultural experiences and languages (47%) or exploring off the radar cities (24%). 

A third (33%) of UK travellers want their travel experiences to have a more back-to-basics feel with only the bare necessities, while 57% are looking for ‘off-grid’ style holidays to switch off and escape from reality, and 54% are keen to use travel as an opportunity to learn survival skills, the study found.

The online firm’s chief marketing officer Arjan Dijk said: “While they may be navigating chaos and embracing contradiction, it’s undoubtedly reassuring for the industry to learn that travel is very much back on the agenda – in what’s possibly a more exciting and creative way than ever before.

“Despite the global uncertainties, the industry will be strengthened by travellers in search of an escape that takes them out of their own reality. 

“This is the ideal backdrop for a boom in experiential travel. With micro and niche trends, hobbies and personal passions leading the way, we are likely to see tailored experiences taken to the next level, paving the way for operators to explore new territory and all the ways their local surroundings can enhance unique adventures for tomorrow’s traveller.”

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