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Travelers in the next year will desire increased opportunities for discovery, wellness options, personalized services and human-centric technology that makes their lives easier, according to Hilton’s “The 2023 Traveler: Emerging Trends that are Innovating the Travel Experience” report.
During a year that Hilton has phrased “The Year of the Evolved Traveler,” 2023 is expected to temper some of the main trends that shaped the year or so following the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing them on four main trends.
Using data from a global survey commissioned by Hilton and conducted by global strategy, insights, design and technology partner Material, which surveyed over 7,000 travelers, the new report finds that these four main trends are nothing new, but are expected to survive and grow deeper.
“In 2022, motivated travelers sought out new experiences around the world and reconnected with the people and places they love,” said Chris Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton. “The 2023 Trends Report showcases travelers’ evolving preferences and how eager and optimistic they are about their future adventures. Our Hilton team members are ready to welcome them and create a great stay experience at our more than 7,000 properties worldwide.”
Travelers more than ever before have learned that travel is a gateway for discovery, from new passions and hobbies to new cultures, foods and more. In 2023, this trend will continue, with about 49 percent of respondents looking for more immersive travel experiences.
Forty percent of travelers also desire an increased access to immersive experiences, such as classes, performances, events, festivals and more. Another 36 percent are looking to give back to the local communities in which they visit and learn about local cultures next year.
Throughout the pandemic, more people found that integrating wellness routines into their lifestyles made all the difference in their mood and their energy levels. As they travel in 2023, travelers will also expect to find great access to fitness and wellness opportunities, from eating dishes made from locally sourced produce to enjoying in-room access to Peloton classes.
Forty-seven percent of travelers will want access to fitness centers and fitness activities when they travel. Forty-one percent of travelers will focus on finding healthier food options as they travel, while 32 percent will focus on finding more locally sourced foods.
They’re also more interested in traveling to improve their health: 49 percent of employed respondents said they would travel to disconnect from work and improve their mental health.
Guests are also incredibly interested yet woefully unaware of sustainability offerings: 86 percent of all respondents reported little-to-no awareness of hotel-level sustainability programs.
While the pandemic led to isolation and an increased interest in human interaction, travelers will also want better technology services that don’t discourage human interaction but solve some issues that travelers can face.
Over half of all respondents (53 percent) care about reliable and friendly service when they travel, but things like electric charging stations, coworking spaces and digital key cards and check-in options are also expected to become more popular, with 56 percent of respondents confirming that they’d like an easier travel experience.
Everyone loves being seen as an individual, with their own travel needs and desires.
This won’t change in 2023, with 86 percent of respondents looking for more personalized experiences during their hotel stays. This can range from something as simple as a daily greeting by name, or a free room upgrade via loyalty membership.
Another 42 percent say that loyalty rewards will matter to them when traveling in 2023. As 40 percent of travelers expect to mix business travel with leisure travel, hotels that offer fun experiences, as well as co-working spaces, will be able to satisfy this emerging trend.
Personalization can also mean showcasing popular travel offerings, such as pet-friendly hotels, which is Hilton’s third most popular booking filter to date.
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