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The travel category has been no stranger to change over the last three years. Hit hard early on in the pandemic and still grappling with challenges, travel has been through the ups and downs of a turbulent start to the 2020s. Looking into 2023 and beyond, however, we’re optimistic.
We’re seeing shifts in behaviors and culture that point to a promising time for travel. New and exciting opportunities abound for travel brands as they navigate these changes. Smart brands will capitalize on these moments, connecting with new audiences, crafting ideas around cultural tentpoles, and positioning themselves for the future.
The five moments of change that we’re seeing are tied together by a theme of people shying away from the old and familiar and embracing the unexpected and unconventional. Our tastes and appetites for different travel experiences have evolved to be much more personal. More so than ever, we’re traveling when we want, the way we want, and how we want.
1. Getting More Out of Less:
We’ve gone from checking off our bucket lists to going in with no list. We’re getting more out of trips that shy away from the glamorous in pursuit of simpler, open-ended travel experiences. That began with exploring your own backyard and has translated into seeking out the offbeat, minimal, and affordable.
2.Leveling Up Novelty:
At the same time, we still want sensory-stimulating experiences. We’re searching for stays that offer unique – sometimes obnoxious – designs, getting lost in experiences and spaces filled with the bright, vivid, and alluring, and jetting off to as-seen-on TV locales.
3. Catalyzing Change:
We’re becoming more conscious and aware of travel’s impact on us, driving us to new types of experiences that leave a more lasting effect. From the grueling to the meditative to the enlightening, we want experiences that challenge our sense of being and leave us different from where we were when we came in.
4. Living Anywhere:
Lasting changes in the workplace driven by the Great Resignation and the arrival of remote and hybrid work models means that we can now work, travel, and live together all-in-one. The bleisure travel category is expected to rapidly expand as a result, while nomadic lifestyles become more alluring. Subscription models for airlines, accommodations, and other travel experiences are being built to cater to these always-on-the-road travelers.
5. Making a Better World:
Our heightened awareness of our own impact on travel is making waves in the green, slow, and sustainable travel movements. We’re gut-checking our use of emissions, conscious of our presence in communities and locales, and actively seeking out ways to leave destinations better than when we arrived.
This is just a bite-sized taste of each moment we see changing the travel category for brands and marketers. If this caught your eye, read our full report on Moments of Change: The Future of Travel in the download link below.