Discover 8 good tourism trends for 2023

Discover our 8 key good tourism trends (or movements) for 2023 and learn what to expect for a successful and sustainable future as a tour operator.
Good tourism trends 2023

The future of tourism in 2023

The start of a new year is a good time to look towards the future. What’s happening and what’s changing? What are the most relevant trends and which ones are worth following?

Nowadays, there are hardly any new trends that are so ground-breaking or innovative they’ll change the industry completely. Trends can be described more as movements that determine what’s important this year and what requires deepening and attention.

We listed the key movements that are important for 2023. They’re here to stay, tap into the needs of travellers and take care of people, planet, and profit. Follow them to become a more sustainable and successful tour operator.

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Participate in our “Good Tourism trends 2023” workshop on Thursday 9th February. Identify which trends are truly relevant for your business, learn how to respond, and develop an action plan with practical steps to make it happen.

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8 key good tourism trends in 2023

To let you be part of the future of tourism, we listed 8 key good tourism trends worth following. Be inspired and respond accordingly for a successful future.

Trend 1: Good tourism

Travellers are looking for experiences that benefit the destination they’re travelling to. Good tourism is the concept of creating positive impact on people and planet, while offering great travel experiences.

This has always been a movement, but travel behaviour has shown it’s becoming more important. Travellers are looking to:

  • Reduce their negative environmental impact
  • Support local economies
  • Support local cultures and communities
  • Visit lesser-known destinations
  • Contribute to nature and wildlife protection
  • Reduce their carbon footprint

“90% of consumers look for sustainable options when travelling” – Expedia Group

Good tourism trends 2023: Good tourism

Trend 2: Excellent customer experience

Travellers expect a personal and efficient customer experience (CX) at all times. They judge every interaction they have with your business and each of these interactions are evaluated. From the first up until the last contact moment, businesses and employees need to be on their best behaviour. Both offline and online.

The expectations of excellent customer experiences (CX) are changing, and loyalty and speed are more important than ever. So, it’s key you know what you stand for, and who you want to attract and to offer fast and personalised services.

“Being able to serve relevant information at the right moment in the customer journey often determines success” – Evolv Al

Trend 3: Strong online visibility

Travellers spend a significant time online searching for travel inspiration and tips. They’re absolutely doing so again in 2023. The importance of being visible online is still growing every year. We’re expecting for video to take over even more (look at the rise of TikTok).

With these travellers going online to find their next dream destination you need to be prepared. Make sure to have a fast and user-friendly website, your Google Business profile up to date, focus on content marketing, be active on social media channels where your target group is active and don’t underestimate influencer marketing.

Good tourism trends 2023: Outdoor nature experiences

Trend 4: Outdoor nature experiences

Travellers are looking to experience and explore the outdoors more often. The pandemic has made a lot of people realise how much they love the outdoors and how much they appreciate it. Travellers want to go out, breathe in fresh air and go back to basic. Think about multi-day trekking or camping trips.

Important to remember when looking at this growth in outdoor nature experiences, is to always develop travel experiences that are good for the planet too. Therefore, focus on carbon-free travel experiences where possible to truly connect travellers with nature.

Trend 5: Travelling off-season

Travellers are looking to travel without too many people around and will opt for more low- season bookings. The last decade, we’ve watched destinations become overcrowded and experience overtourism. Most destinations had a relatively short high-season and longer off-seasons. This is now changing.

Travellers are looking to avoid crowds and overtourism and go for a different experience instead. Travelling off-season is cheaper due to less demand, there are less people around so no crowds, and travellers are able to experience a completely different side and feeling of the destination.

Good tourism trends 2023: Remote working

Trend 6: Remote working

Travellers realised they can make the world their office and work remotely. The ‘work from anywhere’ trend has changed the tourism industry. The number of remote workers is growing rapidly and opening a new market for long-stays. Remote workers are usually very flexible, travelling to new destinations to work while exploring new surroundings.

The interesting factor here is that remote workers don’t need 24/7 entertainment while travelling. They’re working after all. What they are looking for, is a structure or plan of how to travel, where to stay and where to (co-)work.

Trend 7: Local travel market

Travellers have the desire to stay closer to home for ease, comfort, and local connection. Again, pandemic times have shown them there is a lot to explore close to home. They’ll be exploring lesser-known cities, going to the highlights they ignored before or rewinding in their own unexplored nature.

Be aware that people staying in their own country are looking for different experiences. This means they won’t be triggered by the same marketing messages you’re sharing to attract inbound travellers. Adapt your marketing efforts to their needs to ensure interest and bookings from locals.

Good tourism trends 2023: Spontaneous travel

Trend 8: Spontaneous travel

Travellers want to turn their ideas into travel plans quickly, easily, and last-minute. Planning proved to be difficult and unpredictable during pandemic times. People got used to not making plans at all or making them very last-minute.

They’ll most likely continue this behaviour and decide when and where to travel only shortly before departure. As a tour operator, you can expect more last-minute bookings and also less time between travel request and booking.

Join our workshop!

Participate in our “Good Tourism trends 2023” workshop on Thursday 9th February. Identify which trends are truly relevant for your business, learn how to respond, and develop an action plan with practical steps to make it happen.

Learn more

Good tourism trends in 2022

2022 was the first year we published an article with trends for the future of tourism. Are you interested to see if our predictions came true? Read our 6 key good tourism trends for 2022 below.

Trend 1: Online preparation

According to Google research, travellers who took a large trip in 2021 spent over 70% of their time researching their trip online. It’s expected this will grow in 2022 as well. When travellers are spending this much time online, they’re searching for inspiration, tips, and companies to book their trips with.

How to respond

You can respond this trend by being visible online. Invest time in your online marketing strategy. Make sure your website is found by those researching their next trip. You can achieve this through content marketing. This strategy helps you give potential customers what they are looking for, while they are actively searching for it. This means creating content, such as blogs, photos and videos about your business and everything you offer.

Also make sure to be active on social media for online brand visibility but also to convert followers to clients.

Trend 2: Loyal customers

It’s predicted that in the coming years, travellers will look to remain loyal to brands and businesses that align with their values. Brands that care for the planet and who contribute to a better world. If travellers found a brand they love, they’ll choose to come back again instead of searching for something else.

How to respond

Earning customer loyalty is not something you can do overnight. Key is to make sure to know and communicate your own value. How can travellers align if you are not certain about yours? Also focus on increasing your customer value. There are no real shortcuts or easy ways to stimulate loyalty. You have to work hard and earn it, as creating loyal customers requires care and devotion.

Lastly, also (re)connect with your customers via email marketing to keep on top of their mind. You’ll benefit from this as soon as they’ll start travelling again.

Trend 3. Philantourism

Philantourism is a trend that originated in COVID-19 times and is a natural evolution of volunteer tourism. It’s tourism where travellers choose off the beaten track destinations to spend their free time and their money. Specifically in those destinations that need it the most. They don’t commit to projects locally, but simply spend their money to benefit the local economy.

How to respond

Both you as a tour operator and your customers are important for this trend. For tour operators, it’s important to offer trips and travel experiences to lesser-known destinations and create itineraries that support the local economy. You can also increase your impact by developing community-based tourism.

For travellers, it’s important they know where to go and how they can best support the local economy. Do this by adding tips for local restaurants and shops to your itineraries and traveller communication. This stimulates travellers to go out and spend locally!

Trend 4. Minimum carbon footprint

This is already a very familiar trend to most tour operators, but now it’s also a growing factor for travellers. According to research by Ipsos, 50% of travellers claim that carbon emissions and offset options are worth considering when booking a new trip.

How to respond

First, it’s important to take the goal of a low(er) carbon footprint seriously. Sign the Glasgow declaration and start reducing your emissions. In your office but also in the trips and experiences you develop. Offer destinations closer to home and include train travel. Also focus on slow travel and add carbon-free travel experiences. Hiking, biking, sailing, and kayaking are popular and allow travellers to experience the destination to the fullest.

Thereby, also provide your customers with the option to compensate their trip. Be transparent in your calculations and offsetting program or partner.

Tourism trend: Minimum carbon footprint

Trend 5. Continued care for health and safety

Not surprisingly, research continues to show that health and safety measures regarding COVID-19 make travellers feel safer. Travellers search online for the specific regulations and measures companies take to provide a safe experience. They expect their well-being to be top priority throughout their trip.

How to respond

COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for now. Most importantly is that you take responsibility for the health and safety of your customers. Update your company health and safety protocol where relevant. And clearly communicate the safety regulations to your customers. Be clear and positive about what’s possible in the destinations you offer. But also manage expectations and prepare customers for changes.

Additionally, also make sure to have fair and flexible cancellation policy available. (Potential) customers require transparency and honesty.

Trend 6. Experience of a lifetime

Flowing from two years of COVID-19, lockdowns and travel restrictions all over the world, travellers are looking for “the experience of a lifetime” trips. They realised they don’t want to postpone their bucket list trips and are looking for grand adventures for when they can finally travel again.

How to respond

Offer travellers the experience of a lifetime by creating new (and longer) itineraries with the highlights of the destination. Create trips that make travellers travel slower and experience the destination to the fullest. Don’t forget that a highlights trip does not necessarily mean including the most famous tourist attractions. Surprise your customers by going off the beaten track and to offer them something special.

For the best tailored experience, make it easy for travellers to add smaller packages to extend their trip. For example, a few days relaxing on the beach or a mountain trekking.

Tourism trend: Experience of a lifetime

What does your future look like?

Keep in mind that not all trends (in this article and overall) are fully relevant for every tour operator. Select those trends that support you in your journey towards the future of tourism. Keep close to your mission and USPs and focus on the trends that make you better in business.

Your business development is subject to the (local) circumstances, niche market, target group and your preferences. Be in charge of your own future but remain open for outside inspiration and influences.

Responses

  1. I agree with trend 7, i have witnessed tremendous inquiries from the local market since changing the strategy. They might not be for upmarket tour adventures but, they are travelling in a basic way and if utilized well, local travelers can sustain the travel business. This is one of Afrik Trek Holidays’ focus this 2023

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This course guides you through the first steps to become a better tour operator. It teaches you how to run a successful and sustainable business!

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Join our workshop

Good tourism trends 2023

Prepare for the future in our online workshop. Join us on 9th Febuary 2023, 3PM CET for a practical action plan full of ideas and tasks to respond to tourism trends in 2023!

Learn more

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Join our workshop

Good tourism trends 2023

Prepare for the future in our online workshop. Join us on 9th February 2023, 3PM CET for a practical action plan full of ideas and tasks to respond to tourism trends in 2023!

Join our free introduction course

This course guides you through the first steps to become a better tour operator. It teaches you how to run a successful and sustainable business!