Authentic travel, work-away holidays, and sensible spending to be key 2023 travel trends – Marriott
- Almost half of travellers will spend more on travel overall in 2023 – with many planning on more holidays as the sector continues a strong recovery – but look to save money where they can
- Travelling at different times of the year, and holidays without the children are ways UK consumers plan to maximise their travel budgets this year
- Wellbeing-led holidays set to be the most popular type of holiday for UK travellers in 2023
- Hybrid working will see millions of workers log on whilst away to avoid taking annual leave
- After price, cleanliness, location and peace and quiet are now the most important considerations when booking holiday accommodation for UK travellers
- Sustainability is also a key consideration for most holidaymakers
British adults will be safeguarding spending on holidays in 2023, with most (80%) planning to go away, and many (34%) planning more breaks than in 2022. This is, in part, thanks to more confidence that holiday plans won’t be impacted by Covid this year, and the fact that travel remains a priority for UK consumers in 2023. Sustainability also plays an important role in 2023 travel plans, whilst ‘having a break from it all’ is key for holidaymakers.
These are the UK findings of Marriott Bonvoy’s 2023 Travel Trends research, which analysed the 2023 travel plans of 14,000 travellers across Europe and the Middle East.
Furthermore, data on hotel bookings from Marriott Bonvoy shows a clear return of confidence to book further ahead for travellers from the UK. In October 2022, hotel bookings from the UK for 61-180 days ahead were up 79% compared to the same month in 2021. Meanwhile in November they were up 52%.
Wellbeing Warriors Seeking Authentic Travel
Wellbeing-led holidays that allow people to get away from it all will be the predominant type of break UK holidaymakers will be taking in 2023 (44%). Of those going on these holidays, 59% say they have become more aware of their wellbeing, 41% say they need a break from everyday life and 37% don’t wish to come home from a holiday feeling more tired than when they left.
Authentic travel is also key, with many wanting to immerse themselves in a complete change of culture, with over half (55%) wanting to explore new destinations and cultures, and four in ten (39%) saying they love exploring local dining options whilst away. To truly soak up local culture, 11% plan on taking an ‘extended holiday’ of three weeks or more in one destination.
Of those going on an extended holiday, 36% say that it is the first time they have done so, with the need for an extended change of scene (50%) and wanting to live like a local (34%) being key reasons. Three in ten (29%) of those going on extended holidays also highlighted that being able to work remotely allows them to take a long holiday without having to take annual leave for the whole break.
In fact, hybrid and remote working has had a significant impact on travel plans in 2023. One in ten British adults (10%) plan to take a ‘work-away holiday’ – where they will continue to log on and work whilst away, thus allowing them to experience a new place without taking annual leave – a benefit highlighted by 43%.
Travellers Expect a Premium Experience
In 2023, 40% of UK travellers plan to spend more on their holidays compared to the previous year, with just 19% planning to spend less. Around one in eight (12%) plan to splash out and stay in true luxury accommodation, whilst all-inclusive (17%) and self-catering apartments (14%) will also be popular options.
As a result, UK consumers have high expectations with regards to their holiday accommodation on aspects such as cleanliness (60%), location (60%) and peace and quiet (30%). Likely impacted by the pandemic, cleanliness is now the joint-second priority for accommodation, alongside location and only beaten by ‘price’ (71%) which will undoubtedly continue to be a key factor.
Safeguarding 2023 Spend on Holiday and Savvy Travelling Tips
With 80% of respondents planning to go away, the majority of travellers are clearly trying to ring fence spending for holidays. Overall a third (34%) of those planning to go away say they will be going on more holidays in 2023 compared to the previous year, whilst 26% say they will be doing fewer, suggesting a continued upwards trajectory for the industry post pandemic.
Amongst the minority (20%) of those not planning to go away, a lack of disposable income (66%) alongside the cost of living crisis and inflation specifically (48%) were the key reasons.
Travellers are being smarter in the ways they are planning to save so they can safeguard their premium holiday experience – for example, to ensure they can still go to the destination they want, 42% plan to travel at different times of the year, whilst 35% say they will make do with the clothes they wore on holiday last year. Only 28% say they would opt for a less expensive destination, whilst just 27% will opt for cheaper accommodation.
To ensure they can still go to their favourite destinations and hotels, some say they’ll share a room with other people they are travelling with (15%) whilst 20% of parents say they will share a room with their children rather than getting them their own room. In fact, one in ten (9%) of those with children under the age of 18 say that they will leave them at home in 2023. And it could also be bad news for grown up children still relying on their parents for free holidays, with 13% of those with children over 18 saying they won’t take them away this year.
The Sustainability Factor
Sustainability is now a key factor when it comes to UK travel plans, with 63% saying environmental considerations now have some impact on their arrangements. Four in ten (41%) say they are conscious of the environmental impact of their holidays, whilst 22% go as far as to say environmental considerations define their travel plans and they will only spend money with companies that have a positive environmental impact.
As a result, 40% of British holidaymakers plan to have a staycation in the UK in 2023. Short haul trips will also be in demand, with Spain the next most popular choice (34%), followed by Italy (16%), France (14%) and Greece (14%).
Neal Jones, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Marriott International – Europe, Middle East & Africa: “Travel trends for 2023 are more interesting than ever due to the unique situation we are in, as we look ahead to the way consumers plan to travel this year.
“What comes across very clearly is a resurgence in the sector based in large part on increased confidence amongst travellers in the UK market, with four in ten planning to spend more than last year. This clearly shows great optimism, but also that people will be ring-fencing holiday spending. Perhaps as a sign of the times, travellers will be focusing their spending on the core elements of their trip – accommodation, travel and destination – but will take a more conservative approach to spending on less vital elements of the holiday, such as presents or new clothes.”
“We are also seeing other, existing trends come into sharper focus. I’m delighted to see the priority that so many UK travellers are putting on sustainability, with most taking it into consideration and many shaping their holidays around this. The pandemic also hastened the increase in remote working and it is clear that many plan to take advantage of this, using the opportunity to get away without taking annual leave.”