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Post-Pandemic Tourism: Top Trends to Define the Travel Industry's Comeback in 2023

“Ferie For Alle”, Denmark's biggest travel fair, was a smashing success. Several of our customers’ sales records were broken, and travelers are eager to make up for lost time. What does this mean for travel in 2023? We'll explore the top trends we observed at the fair because the travel industry has made a big comeback.

Post-Pandemic Tourism: Top Trends to Define the Travel Industry's Comeback in 2023

How the travel industry is impacted post the covid pandemic

The outlook for the travel industry is highly optimistic, with strong indicators suggesting a rebound in 2023. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the tourism sector is projected to bounce back and surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023, with a projected growth of +2.2% compared to 2019. This is a clear indication that the desire for travel and exploration is not waning, and that the industry is poised for a comeback in the coming year.

Among travelers, there are now greater demands, when they book their trips. It must be quick and easy, and you don't want to spend too much time choosing things separately. Online sales have also increased in 2022 from previous years, and this also shows that customers want to research online and be able to order immediately and not wait one or two days for a personal travel plan and quotes.

Of course, there are always those who would like to have a consultant on the phone, and then it’s important that the employee has a good travel management system and CRM, so everything runs quickly and automatically from start to finish with a personalized travel plan and quote.

The trade-off:  
Are people willing to give up luxuries for more travel?

People have a great desire to travel again, and the desire has not decreased. So, it is to a greater extent something that is saved up for - and the appetite is great. In everyday life, it is better to cut back on other luxury items such as new cars, eating at restaurants, and clothes to save money for trips, which are also called - Revanche trips.

We probably all feel, that we have missed out on a lot during the Covid pandemic, and as you know, the travel industry was hit incredibly hard due to shutdowns and travel bans. In a survey, as many as 66% of respondents answered, that holiday travel is the most important thing, they plan to spend money on in 2023. *

"From January 1 to June 30, 2022, the company's online sales have grown by 162 percent compared to the same period in 2021. This means that sales are back at the 2019 level"**

In addition, it seems that it has become popular to travel in a larger group together, and what is "in" are the expensive hotels. **

As we know, the trend indicates that overseas trips have been saved up for while cutting luxury things, while those who are looking more towards discount trips, have steady nerves, and are gladly waiting for last-minute deals.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Whether fueled by a burning desire for adventure or an eagerness to escape the monotony of daily life, the wanderlust of people worldwide is undeniable. 2023 has just started, but EU citizens seem particularly poised to embark on a journey in search of new cultures, eager to immerse themselves fully in the customs, traditions, and experiences that come with it.

In recent years, many of us have cultivated an enthusiastic appreciation for adventure and the exploration of the world. We desire to transcend our customary limitations and plunge into life, actively pursuing thrills with exhilarating activities like ziplining and yachting in Croatia, surfing in Portugal, or navigating hidden isles and hiking through meandering gorges in Greece. At the same time, we also want to reduce overcrowding by visiting lesser-known locales that are steadily gaining popularity due to this shift away from tourist hubs.

Finding balance:  
A mind and body vacation

Mental and physical health is becoming increasingly important in society as a whole, which is also reflected in the customers’ holidays.  

During the pandemic, many sought alternatives to closed gyms and found solace in the outdoors by playing padel, cycling, and hiking. In the last year, we have seen that this trend has continued - and is being taken on holidays.  

In 2023 is just as much about taking care of oneself as spending time with family. Solo vacations to places outside one's home country have become increasingly popular in recent years, and those journeys often consist of part relaxation, part training, and physical activities for personal growth.  

For many people, it has become common to take a vacation centered on their own needs for the first time.

Luxury travel vs value for money:

Which one is right for you?

There are two noticeable shifts in the travel industry; on one hand, those with greater disposable incomes continue to flock towards more luxurious trips, looking to make up for lost travel opportunities and tick destinations off their wish lists.  

On the other hand, there has been a marked rise in those that are price sensitive. They are eager to enjoy more memorable getaways as well as revel in significant life moments. Such tourists often seek out unusual places while treating themselves to grandiose hotels.

With the passage of each year, travelers are growing increasingly fond of remote havens like the Maldives and Mauritius.  

Simultaneously, a cohort is expanding who prioritize price when selecting airfare to restart traveling. This group is on the hunt for excellent travel bargains and value for money. The cost of flights largely determines the selection of location, length of trip, and accommodations; consequently, families with children will likely be especially drawn to economical vacation destinations like Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

A blast from the past: Recalling the golden age of travel.

Amid times of unpredictability, security has gained a particularly elevated priority in the years ahead, much like we saw during the pandemic. This is mirrored in many different ways - such as the selection of destinations; people are inclined to visit locations that feel secure and familiar and hotels that have been frequented previously. Furthermore, more individuals are thoroughly researching before traveling and questioning companies for assurance before departing. As an additional observation from Spies, there has been an upsurge in the purchase of security insurance, giving consumers added peace of mind should their journey be canceled or changed at any point.  

To conclude, another tendency amongst travelers appears to be delaying bookings until they are confident about budgeting and their general travel conditions.

The future of travel planning:  

How digital checklists and online booking solutions are making it easier than ever.

In relation to it all having to be easier, the trends also point to more travelers wanting to buy online themselves. This places great demands on the travel agencies, as they must be able to handle the many bookings in the last-minute market.

Not only that, but customers also expect online booking, where they can order everything at once, regardless of travel needs. So, it is believed that there will be a greater demand for customers to be able to book flights, hotel rooms, and other attractions themselves at the destination they want to visit.  

There are also thoughts that in the future, you will be able to get through the airport using biometrics so that you do not have to remember and carry your passport on every journey.

The hotels are also expected to use more digital solutions. It can be anything from apps and programs, that help to plan the cleaning of rooms in a certain order according to the customers' patterns, or an option to be able to digitally order one's meals, and with this solution, sustainability and minimizing waste are again emphasized, as menu cards do not have to be thrown away when they need to be updated with new dishes.

In the future, we might even experience, that robots will take over the cleaning and tidying up of the rooms, and everything will be more of a “no contact” solution via apps. Already now you can make your booking system handle the customer from start to finish, so what is stopping technology from going even further?

Taking customer service to the next level

The new trends point towards that customers are increasingly looking for personal service. This does not mean that they will call the travel agency to book trips, but they no longer want to be a room number in the hotel or an airplane seat number. Experiences are now chosen that are far more tailored for the customers, and therefore it is no longer the price, that is the most crucial factor.

In the travel industry, customers value the personal experience and how easy it is to book – and that's why people are willing to pay more for one trip with a travel company that offers value and personality. But how do you do that?

So, if you choose to get ready with an online booking system, where customers can book themselves, resources are optimized at the same time, and more customers come through, since everything is automated, there is extra time for good customer service.

Tourpaq offers automatic flows that can add a touch of personalization to the customer experience – this can be done by providing information relevant to the customer at the right time. The email flow can start when the customer has made a booking by sending the ticket along with relevant information.

Then there are email follow-ups before departure with everything from payment reminders, purchase options, and relevant information about the check-in and departure at the airport. The email flow continues until the customers return home safely, giving them a satisfaction survey.

Focus on current customer base - If you want your customers to keep coming back, you need to focus on them and make sure, they have a good experience. You can do this with great customer service, and also through marketing efforts.

With Toupaqs marketing automation, you can automate all the steps between sales and marketing, so you can focus more on the overall strategy and spend time nurturing your customers, that show interest in your travel destinations. You must be able to engage your customers at the right time with personalized messages.  While at the same time guarding their privacy.

You will get more insight into your customers’ behaviors and get better at identifying and targeting valuable customers.

Work and travel: The rise of workcations

When COVID hit it meant that workplaces had to send people home, but it also created an opening for home workplaces - and this has made working hours more flexible and provides a great opportunity to juggle everyday life and work to a greater extent. And that trend has increased – we see in general that fixed home working days are introduced, or that work is done from another location and that there is a great success in employees taking care of their jobs without being physically present at the workplace. This has created a trend where more people are combining their work with travel, and it is predicted that the trend will continue in 2023.

Finally, business trips are set to resume. But unlike the ones prior to the pandemic, they will be aimed at creating a connection among colleagues in-person rather than merely serving their professional goals. It reflects an ever-growing urge for workers to combine work-related trips with leisurely activities that promote relaxation and productivity.

Therefore, it is extremely important that you have a system that several users can access and work in at the same time, and make sure that it can run on the employees' laptops.

Security and safety: The essentials of travel planning

Moving forward, the highest priority for all will be safety. Consequently, travel agencies must prioritize traveler security and peace of mind - for instance by offering travel insurance and cancelation coverage. Moreover, hotels must adhere to stringent standards to demonstrate their trustworthiness and build travelers' confidence in the industry again.

Being a travel agent in today's age is no easy feat - with the rise of custom-made trips, agents need to be prepared for an onslaught of different requests from customers. After scrimping and saving for such expenses, travelers are looking forward to a perfect vacation, so it's important that nothing goes wrong when they finally leave home.

If a travel agency is unable to offer an exceptional customer experience, the likelihood of customers returning is diminished. With such strong competition in the industry, they won't struggle to find an alternative provider. Many manual tasks are involved in these processes, and this can result in unnecessary time wastage when it could be used on servicing customers instead. It's no surprise that consumers now expect immediate access and purchase of services - yet how can we create complete automation of these operations? How do we achieve such a high level of digital transformation?

Acceleration of destination management

This situation of diverse travel options has placed immense demands on the software and booking platforms and has been brewing for some years. Being able to process, keep track of and handle so much data is essential to be able further to develop the travel agency, as well as improve the customer journey and customer experience. Not to forget planning growth strategies for the travel agency.

As before mentioned, when new technology comes in to optimize, then it will mean that you can target customers more efficiently and accurately. It is more important than ever to have ready-to-use and accurate data to be able to understand your customers better and be ready to take immediate action on requests, to not fall behind.

Furthermore – the trends point towards, that international travel will surpass pre-pandemic levels.

Unlock your business's full potential.

The past several years have served as a reminder not to take our freedom to travel for granted. This year's trends indicate an inclination to seek out moments of joy and travel.

Now is the optimal time to look for a forward-looking travel management system geared for the new trends in customer experience, data-driven, and automated workflow.  

Travel agencies need to be on top of everything, and develop new products for customers, as well as internally develop new business strategies.

As you know, it is the companies that take the time to optimize their work processes and ensures a great customer journey that will emerge as the winners - a good beginning is a good ending.  

So, maybe now is the time to look at the possibilities for optimization in your company, so you are geared for the new trends.  

Ready to take your travel planning to the next level while meeting customers’ demands? Kick off the process by scheduling a strategy call with us and discover the amazing features of our travel management solution.

* https://standby.dk/forbrugere-prioriterer-stadigvaek-at-komme-paa-ferie/


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