Turner PR

The Travel Trends That TURNER Is Watching In 2023

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking into our crystal ball to uncover the travel trends that will shape 2023 and beyond.

The Anti-Metaverse

Also known as … real life! Technology is growing with leaps and bounds, but in many ways, the tools that are meant to connect people are making us feel even more disconnected. The irony is thick. Many media conglomerates who have rolled out virtual offerings have been met with (sometimes predictable) ire from users. This suggests that there’s no substitute for real life experiences when it comes to travel. Travelers in 2023 long for vacations where they can authentically engage with their roots and surroundings.

Arrival Of The “Ugly” Destination

In keeping with that focus on authenticity, we’ve noticed a shift in travel behavior in recent months. As destinations become more and more homogenous, there’s been a rise in interest in places that are too far away from the usual to mold themselves into traditionally “beautiful” destinations. And that’s not a bad thing anymore. Travelers are increasingly searching out gritty and rough-around-the-edges spots — the opposite of contrived. These so-called “ugly” destinations add a certain sense of surprise (and often delight) to a vacation. Are they 100% safe and predictable? No — but that’s the fun of it. 

Saving The Airline Industry … From Itself?

Even the most incredible trip can be marred by arrival and departure woes via airline and airport mishaps. While air carriers seem to incapable of saving themselves, destinations at every level are stepping in to save the day — and as a result, they’re saving travelers’ vacations. The good will that this engenders for those destinations can’t be underestimated. Many visitors are choosing destinations where incentive exists to “get stuck” and explore deeper. A flight cancellation doesn’t have to be a disaster. It can be an opportunity for a positively memorable experience.

Application Required

Previously, any visitor was a viable visitor. But many destinations — hat tip to Hawaii — have gone in the other direction and embraced an entirely different model: an application for travel required. This approach puts a destination’s key measures and tenets above everything else, in the process (hopefully) creating a culture of visitors invested in positively impacting a place. An application model ensures that travelers treat a destination with the proper reverence; it’s a signed contract saying that they will respect natural and human resources.

Gen Z Buying Power

There’s a whole new generation of travelers out there. Gen Z has had a transformative effect on social media and pop culture. However, this age-group I only now coming into their own when it comes to spending/buying power. The big question is: How do travel entities, brands and beyond market toward this group? The goal is to lay a foundation that encourages spending habits in the decades to come. How is Gen Z looking to travel in 2023? Well, they’re definitely looking abroad: 55 percent of the segment said they would prefer to travel internationally vs. a vacation in the States. They also want excitement over relaxation — and food is a major draw, too.