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5 Travel & Tourism Trends to Embrace in 2023

Last updated on January 4, 2023
5 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Travel spending is predicted to increase in 2023.
  • Luxury and wellness are popular travel and activity goals.
  • People tend to book at the last minute, in destination.

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The tourism industry has experienced a turbulent few years. After adapting to the pandemic and embracing new methods of travel, unique activities, and shifting booking patterns, we are thrilled to see what 2023 will bring for the tours and activities industry.

Both far-flung vacations and local experiences continue to evolve as travelers creatively embrace travel planning this year.

Individuals are willing to spend more on what matters to them, and experience something new or different along the way. 

Here are five trends to take advantage of in 2023. 

1. Travelers who want to splurge on experiences…

If 2022 was considered the return of travel, then 2023 is poised to see the return of travel spending. Simply getting out of the house isn’t enough—this year travelers are itching to experience once-in-a-lifetime adventures like luxury trips, package tours, and activities that take them far from traditional “tourist traps.”

Travel sales are on track to be 47% higher in 2023 than in 2019 (Virtuoso, global travel agency). 

Encouragingly, almost three quarters of Virtuoso travelers say that creating a travel experience that fits their desires is more important to them than price. 

(… Within reason)

Of course, today’s travelers are always looking for deals! They’ll be smartly planning travel during the shoulder seasons and watching price fluctuations to get the best rates.

2. Upscale experiences that offer fun and relaxation

Luxury travel is shaping up to be popular in 2023—after all, everyone deserves to treat themselves! The upscale travel trend will include exclusive settings, private activities, custom itineraries, and thoughtful details like upgrades and add-ons. 

Upscale experiences are all about people embracing what they love to do. Whether they’re spending a bit more on a high-adrenaline heli-skiing tour or setting aside time to splurge on a private cooking class, luxury means something unique to everyone.

3. Trips that venture further from home

Bookers are looking for unique experiences like backpacking, multi-day hikes and excursions, and glamping or sightseeing adventures that take them slightly out of their comfort zones. 

From tasting exotic foods to learning a new language or activity, no experience is off limits. 

Package experiences offer the perfect opportunity to embrace this kind of travel. A full-day activity that combines multiple tours lets the whole family try something new and make the most of their time in your location. 

Pro Tip: If you don’t offer package tours or longer activities, consider using your platform as a resource to travelers. Write a blog post sharing the best places to visit in your area and how to make a multi-day trip there—with a stop at your business of course!

4. A renewed focus on health and wellness vacations

Wellbeing trips will be a popular travel choice in 2023. We all deserve to unwind, in mind, body and spirit. For some, this could look like a yoga retreat, guided meditation or healing journey, like a visit to Colorado’s hot springs.

There are even more subtle ways tour operators can embrace wellness, like offering healthy choices for food options and promoting local businesses that align with wellness goals. 

5. In-destination and last-minute bookings are here to stay

As we heard from Josh Halperin, FareHarbor’s Managing Director (Americas), at Spark Las Vegas, FareHarbor tour operators are experiencing an uptick in last-minute, in-destination bookings. Travelers are booking on the fly, deciding what they want to do when they are already at their destination. 

How can you capitalize on this trend? Make the best impression on last-minute bookers by working to optimize your online presence and mobile friendliness. 

Making sure your Google Business Profile is up to date and your website is easy to navigate on mobile are two tasks that will go a long way in securing in-destination bookings. Get more tips here. 

2023 is going to be an inspiring year for travel! As we progress in the coming weeks and months, we look forward to keeping you updated on the evolution of trends we see in our industry, as well as sharing new patterns that emerge. 

Have any predictions of your own? Tell us on the FareHarbor Community Facebook page. 

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