Navigating the Future: Unveiling Online Travel Trends of 2023

Welcome to the future of travel booking!

As we traverse the digital era, travel is transforming right in front of us. Today, we’re going to some emerging travel trends in 2023 and discuss what that means for hotel and tourism marketing. So fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the window seat into the future of travel booking.

The Surge in Last-Minute Bookings

A watch with planes on the face to symbolize last minute bookings

Topping our list is the surge of last-minute bookings. The era of travellers meticulously planning their trips months in advance is fading. Instead, the new trend is all about spontaneity and adaptability. A study by Hopper reveals that travellers are initiating their travel planning process approximately 1.5 weeks closer to their departure dates for domestic trips, a 30% decrease in travel planning time compared to pre-pandemic. For international journeys, the planning process commences two weeks closer to travel dates than in 2019.

This trend is particularly prominent among millennials and Gen Z, who are more reluctant to commit to plans. Although they book trips further in advance than the general population on average to save on travel costs, they are booking significantly closer to departure dates than pre-pandemic.

The Reign of Desktop Bookings

Despite the increase in mobile traffic, desktops still reign supreme in terms of actual bookings. Approximately 80% of American consumers still favour using their desktops or laptops when making a reservation. This is a global trend, with relatively low percentages of travellers booking on their mobile phones across various countries.

However, the influence of mobile browsing shouldn’t be underestimated. A significant percentage (72%) of mobile bookings occur within 48 hours of last-minute Google searches containing the terms “today” and “tonight.” Prior to finalizing their vacation itinerary, a vast majority (83%) of tourists conduct research on their mobile devices. This indicates a growing dependence on mobile for the initial stages of travel planning, even if the final booking is often made on a desktop.

Sustainable Travel Steps into the Spotlight

The third trend that’s causing a stir in the travel industry is sustainable travel. With the rising awareness about environmental issues, an increasing number of travellers are opting for eco-friendly alternatives. From selecting hotels that prioritize sustainability to choosing local transportation methods that minimize carbon emissions, travellers are making mindful choices to lessen their environmental impact.

According to a report by Booking.com, 72% of travellers believe that immediate action and sustainable travel choices are necessary to preserve the planet for future generations. Moreover, 68% of vacationers stated they would prefer their travel expenditure to contribute back to the local community. This indicates a growing trend towards responsible tourism, where travellers are conscious of their environmental and social impact.

Wrapping up

These trends present thrilling opportunities and advantages for the hotels and tourism businesses that leverage these new trends.

  • It’s clear that travellers are more spontaneous and willing to book on the fly, which makes it hard for hotels to plan ahead. The best option is to prioritize being flexible and accommodating for travellers who might be short on time.
  • It’s important to optimize your website for all forms of devices. While most people are booking through a traditional desktop, more people than ever are searching and booking through mobile. If your website can’t perform on various devices, then users are less likely to book directly and will opt for another booking platform or, worse, another hotel.
  • Finally, as we’ve mentioned in the past, tourists are placing an emphasis on sustainable travel. Showcasing how your business is giving back to the community and planet will help you attract more of these eco-conscious travellers.

By comprehending and adapting to these trends, you can deliver a superior experience for your guests and stay a step ahead of the competition. If you’re not sure where to start, or just need some help to reach your goals, book a complimentary discovery call with one of our experts to learn how Tiny Planet Digital can make a difference. We specialize in identifying and leveraging trends to craft campaigns that exceed expectations. In the meantime, be sure to check out our other blogs and follow us on our socials!