The 2023 Traveler Value Index has been published by Expedia Group, showing what customer priorities are in travel for next year.
The index includes 11,000 consumers and 1,100 industry professionals from 11 major markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, the UK and US.
The insights show that emerging from the pandemic has changed travel trends. Firstly, price is now more important that minimising Covid-19 exposure. Thirty-seven per cent said lower price is their priority, whereas 35 per cent said avoiding Covid-19 was still top. Fifty-seven per cent also said the experience is worth the cost, in comparison to 51 per cent prioritising cleanliness and safety. Overall, the most important aspects to customers when booking travel are atypical, low pricing; the ability to get a full refund; and flexible cancellation policies.
Price sensitivity continues to weigh heavily on decision making, with 51 per cent saying that inflation will affect their travel plans over the next 12 months. However, industry professionals underestimate price sensitivity, with only 23 per cent saying that inflation will have the most negative impact.
Return of business travel
After the travel landscape continues to change after Covid-19, business travel is returning too. Now, one-in-three consumers are saying they are planning upcoming business travel.
Additionally, 76 per cent of business travellers are planning to extend work trips for leisure purposes, bringing the return of ‘bleisure’, says the report.
Social media influencing travel plans
Social media is the third most popular source of destination inspiration, with 35 per cent of people using their networks to choose a holiday. Friends and family (52 per cent) and travel providers (44 per cent) were at first and second place, but other traditional outlets have been beaten by social media, showing its value.
It is especially important to younger generations, with Generation Z and Millennials ranking social media as the most popular and second most popular sources of travel inspiration, respectively.
Another technology expected to impact travel is streaming. These services are anticipated to be a new source of travel inspiration in 2023.
Overall, 46 per cent of consumers are saying that travel is more important to them now than it was before the pandemic. This is reflected in the top motivators for travelling highlighted by the index: physical and mental health (49 per cent), change of scenery (49 per cent) and making up for lost time (46 per cent).
Value in travel has been identified as a priority for customers, with travel companies like lastminute.com now making it easier to book budget breaks.