Top 6 UK Travel Trends of 2023 So Far
Travel made a big comeback during 2022 with restrictions disappearing and consumer confidence returning. As the surge in travel continues across the globe, we can look forward to all that is to come in 2023. As travellers secure their plans for this year, make sure you know the key trends and how to capture the attention of your target market.
Read our top 6 travel trends of 2023, and ensure your activity aligns with your audience.
55% OF TRAVELLERS PLAN TO TAKE LONGER TRIPS
According to research carried out by Booking.com, more than half of travellers are planning longer getaways this year. These consumers are looking to make best use of their budgets with fewer, yet longer trips, rather than several short getaways throughout the year.
This encourages hoteliers to strengthen and highlight your best length of stay (LoS) offers to attract those looking for an extended trip. Consider week-long, or even month-long packages that will appeal to those opting for long-length travel this year.
THE GROWTH OF 'BLENDED TRAVEL'
With more 'digital nomads' than ever before, consider offering business-leisure packages to capture those looking to work and play. Commonly known as 'bleisure' - this is a trend that has grown during the pandemic, with more weekends being booked following a business trip than ever before. Skift reports that 38% of business trips included a weekend in 2022, compared to 31% in 2019. This is a trend that continues to grow, so take advantage of ‘bleisure’ strategies to attract the emerging blended traveller of 2023.
FLEXIBILITY FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE
The travel ‘hokey-cokey’ caused by seemingly never-ending waves of COVID appears to have left travellers more wary of non-refundable rates. According to a recent Expedia survey, unpredictability has led to 96% of travel businesses now offering refundable services or credit schemes. The ability to get a refund was favoured second in Expedia's Traveller Value Index; meaning flexibility will remain a top priority for potential guests in 2023.
FAMILIES ARE INCREASING THEIR HOLIDAY BUDGETS
Compared to an average of 43%, Expedia has highlighted that 51% of consumers with children say they will increase their travel spend in the coming year. This makes it clear that families present a significant opportunity for hoteliers in 2023. We recommend strengthening your family rates and packages and ensuring all upsell opportunities are included in key messaging on and offline.
INCREASED INBOUND TRAVEL & TOURISTS
VisitBritain’s Inbound Tourism Forecast states that there are 35.1 million predicted visitors to the UK in 2023; an 18% increase compared to 2022. While this is a UK-focused stat, it bodes well for wider European travel too. Despite the cost-of-living crisis, and other macro-environmental factors, inbound travel projections remain reasonably buoyant. Therefore as inbound visitors plan their trips to the UK this year, ensure you target international audiences across your strategy, and capture some of the increasing demand.
INFORMED TRAVELLERS SEEK BETTER BRAND CONNECTION
Finally, remember that the guest’s first impression of your brand is online, not as they approach the entrance to your hotel. As Skift's Sean O'Neil highlights; “In the past, travellers had less access to information, so the sign out front of a property carried more weight by conveying a promise of consistent quality. But now, every smartphone can bring up a mix of reviews and social recommendations specific to an individual property.”
This can level the playing field, a little, for independent hoteliers who can let their brand, positioning and reputation do the talking when it comes to attracting those all-important direct bookings. Take the time to identify how your brand makes your customers feel in 2023, and roll this out across all channels with consistent community management. Reputation management is probably one of the most valuable parts of your business and has the potential to drive significant, tangible, commercial value. This year, focus on creating a deeper connection with your guests; emotive, inspirational and personal content is key.
Going Forward into 2023
With these trends in mind, it’s important to factor in these rising habits for 2023. To find out how we can elevate your business and help you reach your goals, browse our digital services to find out what we do at Click2Convert and how we can help.