TREND-SETTING JET-SETTERS

Canadians the Most Likely to Travel Internationally Next Year: Expedia Group Survey Reveals Trends

Expedia Group released its 2023 Traveler Value Index and this year’s report reveals how Canadians will lead global travel recovery, how they want to travel - and insights for travel advisors.

Sourced from the company’s first-party data and custom research of thousands of travellers and industry professionals across 17 countries, Expedia says its findings show the return to travel is not a 'new normal,' but 'no normal,' with unexpected trends.

Survey Highlights from a Canadian Perspective:

  • Consumers in Canada are the most likely to travel internationally, matching Western Europeans. 41 per cent of Canadians say they are very likely to book or have already booked an international trip in the next 12 months, ranking higher than the global average (30 per cent).
  • 72 per cent of Canadian travel professionals believe business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels within two years and 77% feel the same about leisure travel.
  • This aligns with the finding that 74 per cent of Canadians are planning to take a leisure trip in the next 12 months, and that 65 per cent of Canadian consumers plan to travel by air in the next 12 months.
  • While with high intent to travel, cautious Canadians appreciate flexible policies (63 per cent) more than the global average (51 per cent).
  • However, Canadians are more concerned (60 per cent) about inflation impacting their travel plans in the next 12 months.

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'Unexpected' Travel Trends in 2023:

Set-Jetters

Booking a trip after binging a popular new series will become serious business in 2023. Expedia research confirms that streaming movies and TV shows are becoming more popular as sources of travel inspiration (22 per cent), closing the gap on the most popular source, social media (30 per cent). Furthermore, the small screen is now considered on par with recommendations from friends and family when it comes to travel inspiration.

  • In Canada, more than half (60 per cent) of travellers considered visiting a destination that was featured on a show or movie on a streaming platform, and 27 per cent went and booked a trip.
  • Top destinations include the UK and New Zealand, with its landscapes featured this year in a major fantasy epic, Paris and New York also ranked highly, as well as Hawaii.


Culture Capitals
National parks and outdoor spaces had big moments over the past two years. Now, it’s time for cities to see a comeback. Based on traveller demand, most of the destinations seeing the largest increases are all culture-rich cities where arts and cultural festivities are getting back to full swing.
In 2023, culture capitals are calling, with respondents ranking the top 10:

  1. Edinburgh, Scotland​
  2. Lisbon, Portugal​
  3. Tokyo, Japan​
  4. Dublin, Ireland​
  5. New York, USA​
  6. Sydney, Australia​
  7. Dubai, UAE​
  8. Montréal, Canada​
  9. Munich, Germany​
  10. Bangkok, Thailand

Value for Money

In Canada, 41 per cent of travellers admit they are more concerned with value for money than ever before. Hotels.com data shows interest in three-star hotels is up more than 20 per cent globally.

In 2023, 28 per cent of Canadian travellers plan to stay in 1-3 star hotels and 60 per cent plan to book a vacation with added value inclusions, such as toiletries or free breakfast. Showing a shift in mindset from the post-pandemic bucket-list mentality and moving towards a more spontaneous approach, a third would rather go on more trips in three-star properties than splurge on one big luxury getaway. Fewer stars do not mean lower standards, however; travellers are still looking for unique character even in value properties.

New Wave Wellness

Almost half (45 per cent) of Canadians are more open to wellness breaks than ever before but cite boredom with traditional wellness retreats and an urge to experience something more exciting in 2023.

To capture this awakened market, hotels are innovating and offering advanced rejuvenation programs and hands-on activities that encourage travellers to get up close and personal with nature. The quirkier the activity the better; Sylvotherapy, or forest bathing, and fruit harvesting are more popular than classic spa activities.

Foodie-menities

Travellers looking to plate up whenever they please in their private escape. Almost half of Canadian travellers (45 per cent) feel that cooking is a great family or group activity, and over one-third of Canadian travellers want to cook for themselves when travelling to cut down on costs.

Ranch Retreats

Rustic getaways are on the rise, and travellers can live out their western fantasies by booking a ranch escape not just in western Canada or the U.S. Travellers are booking country retreats in Italy, Spain, France and the UK. Thrill-seekers can also embrace their ranching wanderlust in Australia, with outback views and wineries.

Travel Trade Perspective: Optimism and New Values

For the first time, Expedia is releasing consumer survey results alongside insights from industry professionals, with those 2023 travel trends revealing the ways that the pandemic has forever changed travel.

The research shows the highest levels of optimism since 2020.

Most professionals expect leisure (71 per cent) and business (70 per cent) travel to return to pre-2020 levels within two years.

Another insight from industry professionals shows travellers are choosing options aligned with their personal values such as sustainability, inclusivity, and accessibility. Most travel businesses (60 per cent) made changes in the last year to ensure their services are inclusive and accessible. In fact, sustainability is tied with marketing as the highest area of investment for 2023, with one in five industry professionals saying they plan to invest in sustainability next year.

For the full industry report on insights and actions for travel partners, you can access the Traveler Value Index 2023

For the full consumer report visit https://www.expedia.ca/2023traveltrends.

Lynn Elmhirst

Editor

With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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