After years of restricted and limited travel, we’ve all been reminded of how important travel is. Traveling allows us to connect with friends, rest and recharge, and explore new places and experiences. As we move into a year where much of the world has reopened, 2023 brings a strong opportunity to connect with travelers who have a renewed sense of importance about travel. However, to connect, it is essential to understand why and how consumers are looking to travel in the coming year.
The newfound importance of travel
Data from the latest Traveler Value Index shows that 46% of people said that travel is more important to them now than it was before the pandemic. This trend is even more pronounced for younger generations, as 52% of millennials and 50% of Gen Zs indicated that travel was more important now.
This growing importance also varied by region. In both Brazil and South Korea, 60% of consumers said travel was more important to them now, indicating that travelers in these regions may actively seek to make up for lost time in 2023.
This growing importance is supported by data from our Q4 Traveler Insights Report, where we saw that after multiple quarters of global search growth, Q3 2022 search volumes on brand pages of Expedia Group was flat quarter over quarter. Additionally, positive trends emerged for several regions, particularly Asia Pacific (APAC).
Looking ahead to 2023, demand for travel is strong. The Traveler Value Index shows that 79% of travelers are planning to take a cheap trip in the next year, up from 76% a few months ago. And consumers are backing this up with increased budgets, as 43% said they are increasing their travel budget for next year.
Why do people travel now?
As we’ve emerged from the pandemic, people’s reasons for traveling have evolved. As travel resumed, many people’s first priority was to reconnect. In previous research, when asked about the reason for travel, time with family and friends was at the top of the list.
However, during 2022, additional reasons for travel emerged. Now, many want to give priority to relaxation, well-being, change of scenery and new experiences.
Consumers say a change of scenery (49%) and physical and mental health benefits (49%) have become more important in their travel decisions since the COVID-19 pandemic. For many people, traveling for the sake of self-care has become non-negotiable.
The mental and physical health benefits of travel are particularly important to travelers from Brazil and South Africa, with 66% of Brazilians and 63% of South Africans saying that mental and physical health benefits are more important now.
Making up for lost time with friends and family still makes up a large portion of consumers, as do those who believe the new experience is more important now.
Taking actions through messages
To connect with travelers, it’s essential to keep these factors in mind when developing messaging and promotions for your destination or accommodation. Talking about what travelers are looking for will help your brand resonate with what they care about today.
The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic has brought together some of these factors that have become more important to travelers in their new series with our in-house creative agency, “Our Dominican.” The three-episode video series and interactive campaign features ways travelers can disconnect and immerse themselves in nature and have new experiences in three different cities across the country. This strategy allows travelers to choose what speaks to them for their next trip, or decide to combine wellness with new, exciting experiences.
Looking to travel in 2023
As we look towards 2023, the looming recession and how it will affect travel is on the minds of many in the industry. While a recession is likely to slow travel growth, we expect travel to prevail through the economic downturn. Although macroeconomic concerns are widespread, consumers have greater savings than previous recessions and a heightened sense of the importance of travel over products as a result of the pandemic. Additionally, new layers of demand are emerging, such as increased business travel and flex, travelers mixing their remote work with leisure travel. While the impact of the recession is yet to be seen, these signals help us remain optimistic about the strength of travel in 2023.
Our travel spotlights also offer great opportunities to include messaging that shows how your brand aligns with the health benefits, changing landscape and new experiences travelers are looking for. To find out more about traveler values and preferences, download our full 2023 Traveler Value Index.
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About Expedia Group Media Solutions
Expedia Group Media Solutions is a global travel advertising platform that connects marketers with hundreds of millions of travelers across Expedia Group brands. With our exclusive access to more than 70 petabytes of Expedia Group’s traveler search and booking data, we provide advertisers with actionable insights, sophisticated targeting and omni-channel results reporting. Our suite of solutions includes display, sponsored listings, audience expansion, collaborative campaigns and custom creative campaigns – all designed to meet the objectives of our advertising partners and add value to travel buyers on our sites. global brands. With a consultative approach and more than 20 years of travel and media experience, we help our advertising partners inspire, engage and convert travelers for meaningful results. For more information, visit www.advertising.expedia.com.
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