Global Travel Trends in 2023: Personalized Itineraries and Unique Experiences

KEY TAKEAWAYS
"Set-jetting" is on the rise, with 75% of respondents being inspired to visit destinations due to social media and younger travelers being heavily influenced by movies, TV shows, and Instagram.
Culinary experiences are becoming crucial in travel decisions, with 81% of respondents looking forward to trying local foods, and 47% of younger travelers planning entire vacations around specific restaurants.
Restorative vacations focused on mental, physical, and emotional health are gaining popularity, with 73% of respondents aiming to take such vacations and 60% of younger travelers seeking hotels offering spa and wellness services.
Travelers show a strong interest in discovering hidden gems and supporting local communities, with 85% of respondents wanting authentic local experiences and 78% keen on vacations that contribute to local communities.
Travel is a top budget priority for many, with 52% of respondents planning more trips in 2023 than in 2022, and 84% of younger travelers preferring to invest in a dream vacation over purchasing luxury items.

 

American Express Travel recently unveiled its 2023 Global Travel Trends Report, shedding light on the key factors driving people’s travel plans this year.

The study, which surveyed travelers from the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, and the United Kingdom, identified four main trends: the rise of “set-jetting,” delicious destinations, a wellness wave, and traveling off the beaten path.

The Rise of “Set-Jetting”: Travel Inspired by Pop Culture and Social Media

“Set-jetting,” where individuals choose their travel destinations based on popular movies, TV shows, and social media, has surged in popularity.

Younger travelers, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, are more likely to be influenced by what they see on their screens.

In fact, 75% of respondents reported being inspired to visit a particular destination due to social media, with 70% of Gen Z and Millennials specifically citing TV shows, news sources, or movies as motivators.

Additionally, 46% of these younger respondents admitted that Instagram played a significant role in their travel inspiration.

Delicious Destinations: Culinary Experiences Shape Travel Choices

Food is becoming an increasingly important factor in where people choose to travel.

A majority (81%) of respondents look forward to trying local foods and cuisines the most when traveling.

For 66% of Gen Z and Millennials, social media serves as the primary source of inspiration for dining experiences during their trips.

Furthermore, nearly half (47%) of these younger travelers have planned an entire vacation around visiting a specific restaurant.

The study, which surveyed travelers from the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, and the United Kingdom, identified four main trends: the rise of “set-jetting,” delicious destinations, a wellness wave, and traveling off the beaten path.

A Wellness Wave: Prioritizing Self-Care and Restorative Vacations

The desire for restorative vacations focused on mental, physical, and emotional health is on the rise.

A significant 73% of respondents plan to take vacations this year to improve their well-being, and 60% of Gen Z and Millennials are willing to go out of their way to book hotels offering spa and wellness services.

Traveling Off the Beaten Path: Supporting Local Communities and Exploring Hidden Gems

Today’s travelers are increasingly interested in discovering hidden gems and supporting the local communities they visit.

A vast majority (85%) of respondents want to experience the authentic local culture, while 78% are keen on vacations that contribute to local communities.

Travel Plans and Budget Priorities

The report also found that more than half (52%) of respondents plan to take more trips in 2023 than in 2022, and 50% are prepared to spend more money on travel this year.

Interestingly, 84% of Gen Z and Millennials would rather invest in a dream vacation than purchase a new luxury item, and 79% consider travel an important budget priority.

Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel, emphasized the growing desire for personalized itineraries built around individual passions, whether that means planning a vacation around a single dinner reservation or capturing the perfect TikTok video.

In conclusion, the 2023 Global Travel Trends Report highlights the evolving preferences of today’s travelers, with an emphasis on personalized itineraries and unique experiences.

The rise of “set-jetting,” delicious destinations, a wellness wave, and traveling off the beaten path reflect the growing desire for authentic and meaningful travel experiences.

As people increasingly prioritize travel in their budgets, understanding these trends will help tourism industry stakeholders better cater to travelers’ needs and preferences, ultimately creating more enriching and memorable vacations for everyone.

Craig Miller

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