When the COVID pandemic struck, most people avoided travel and airfare became more affordable than it’s ever been. But now that the worst has passed, people are starting to get out of their houses again—even if it means paying more for travel. In 2022, inflation on consumer goods reached a whopping 9.1%. This, coupled with increased demand, has made travel more expensive, with airline ticket prices increasing by 25%. By 2023, experts predict that the travel industry will be nearly back to normal reaching 96% of pre-pandemic levels. 

Travel is a huge industry, and it’s changing with the times. People are traveling more than ever before, but they’re also seeking out different experiences than they did in the past. The travel industry has to change with them—and that means doing market research to understand why people are traveling and how you can better serve them. Keep reading to learn more about travel trends to watch and how market research can help you take advantage of them today. 

Travel Trends To Watch

Despite a complex global economic and geopolitical context, the need to travel is still present for many people. In 2023, this desire will be expressed in new ways as travelers seek out new experiences.

People Are Excited To Travel Again

As the COVID pandemic eased in the US this year, homebound individuals and families were eager to get out and explore the world again. In a new survey, 73% of people said that they were more optimistic about travel than they were in 2022. While we enter 2023 in the midst of global uncertainty, almost three-quarters (72%) said traveling was still worth it.

Customers Want To Be Cared For

As people return to the airways, flight delays and cancellations are mounting. Consumers are being more careful about who they book with, which has caused headaches for airlines. According to our research, 63% of people say they’re willing to pay more for better customer service.

The Impact And Purpose Of Travel Is Driving Booking Decisions

Travel will take on new meaning this year with younger travelers seeking out purpose in travel. When traveling abroad, people are drawn to positive experiences, from wellness activities and giving back to the community, to protecting the environment. A majority of people (62%) agree that they want to be more thoughtful about where and how they travel per an American Express Global Travel Trends report.

Family Is More Important Than Ever

As the pandemic kept people away from their families for the last several years, 2023 will be all about getting together again. In the post-pandemic era, travelers have been prioritizing their time with family, and friends. More families are booking multi-generational vacations to reconnect and re-engage with one another. 

Off-Grid Getaways Are Trending

Living in an “always on” society is draining, so in 2023, people will be drawn to the idea of going off the grid. 44% of travelers are looking for an off-grid holiday to escape reality, disconnect and live with the bare essentials.

Virtual Reality Is Coming To The Travel Industry 

Technology is changing the way we travel. Next year, 40% of travelers will use virtual reality (VR) to choose their holiday destinations. In the metaverse, they will be able to experience different travel experiences by transcending the limitations of physics.

Financially-Savvy Trips Are Key 

Although people want to travel more, they also want to get a good deal. In 2023, savvy travelers will plan their budgets more tightly. They will focus on value for money through discounts and loyalty schemes and take advantage of offers and tips to save money.

Market Research Is A Key Factor In Ensuring That Travel Businesses Attract Customers

The travel industry is a lucrative one to be in, but it can also be difficult for companies to engage and retain customers, given the number of competitors. Market research is a key factor in ensuring that travel businesses gain market share. 

Market research involves surveying, interviewing, or observing individuals or groups of people to determine their preferences, needs and motivations with regard to certain products or services. This information helps companies understand why they are currently attracting customers, as well as which strategies they need to implement in order to ensure future success.

It’s important to understand how customers interact with your brand across all channels – from websites and mobile apps to social media sites, emails, and more.

The following are some examples of how travel businesses can use data from market research: 

  • A hotel can use data to provide personalized offers based on a customer’s preferences or previous stays at their hotels around the world
  • A tourist board could make recommendations for things to do near a visitor’s hotel based on their previous interests on social media
  • An airline could use this data to offer more personalized service through their app or website

Bottom Line

The travel industry is changing, and consumers with cabin fever are once again seeking out travel after a long and uncertain pandemic. There are many exciting trends to be aware of and market research can help travel brands get off the ground running. 

When dealing with the travel and tourism market, travel companies must capture data from customers during each interaction to gain a full understanding of their needs. Market research is a tool that companies use to learn about their customers’ needs, preferences and motivations. This helps companies understand why they are currently attracting customers, and which strategies might be effective for keeping them in the future.

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