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Carolyn Weppler Senior VP 1 week, 6 days ago

New Year, New Way: 5 Travel Trends for 2023

  • Friends travelling together in Brazil

Every new year brings with it some changes, no matter how small. In the world of travel, we’ve seen a number of trends develop that should dictate how people travel over the course of 2023.

It’s no wonder things have evolved leading into 2023. A lot has happened over the past three years. Now, as travel rounds back into form and the industry sees record numbers, we’ve noticed some key trends develop, from the length of vacation to the number of destinations on a single itinerary. Relying on the expert knowledge of our Destination Specialists, as well as insights from our travel partners, we’ve identified five key travel trends for 2023.

What are the top trends in travel for 2023?

1. A Travel Surge

Hanami crowds in Tokyo

We’re in the midst of a tsunami of travel bookings for 2023. Demand is high. And this doesn’t just mean for vacations six months down the road. People are booking well in advance, but they’re also seeking out last-minute opportunities. Everyone wants to travel! We’ve also seen this trend develop across all of our destination regions.

For instance, European travel demand is at an all-time high. Travellers are heading to Portugal for long-stay vacations on the beaches of the Algarve, hitting up the sunny locales of Italy and Greece, and visiting old favourites England and France. In Asia, Japan is looking very busy for the cherry blossoms season and most travellers are booking well into the summer and fall. Luckily, Goway has secured eight spots on Japan Cherry Blossom Odyssey, which includes cherry blossom viewing at Mt. Toshino and in Kyoto and Kanazawa. This exclusive opportunity is only available until February 10, 2023, so book now to secure your place during the hanami this year.

In Central & South America, travellers continue to flock to Costa Rica in the cooler months, while Peru remains in the top spot for travel demand, with lots of travellers planning months in advance for that bucket list vacation to Machu Picchu. In Africa, Egypt has recovered fully to pre-pandemic levels and East Africa continues to attract travellers who want to go on safari. Australia and New Zealand might have been later to the travel party than other destinations, but they’re making up for it with recent demand to escape the North American winter. As well, people are already planning for epic trips Downunder for the fall and beyond, so know that the South Pacific is heating up.

2. Multi-Country Vacations

Skyling and river of Prague in Czechia

With pandemic travel restrictions pretty much gone worldwide, we’ve seen a trend that allows us to play to one of our greatest strengths: combining several countries on a single itinerary. This can be as little as two destinations on a single trip to more than 10 destinations on an epic itinerary! Some very popular multi-country vacations include combo tours of Eastern or Western Europe, such as the 11-day Highlights of Berlin, Prague, Krakow & Warsaw or the 13-day Classic European Sampler, which explores London, Paris and Amsterdam

Of course, multi-country vacations are not limited to Europe. Travellers are booking combo visits to Argentina and Brazil, and, of course, Australia and New Zealand, with a stopover visit in a South Pacific island nation such as Fiji. In Africa and the Middle East, travellers are pairing together countries in East and Southern Africa based on regional convenience or planning historic journeys through Egypt and Jordan. Southeast Asia has appealing trips combining any combination of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, often with Singapore as the popular gateway stopover. 

A lot of travellers are also adding on stopovers to break up long flights and take advantage of great savings with airlines. For instance, Istanbul is a popular stopover on trips to Africa, while Dubai and Qatar are emerging as some of the most appealing stopover destinations for trips to East Africa and Southeast Asia.

3. Stay Longer

Giraffes in Amboseli Kenya

As people have accrued significant vacation time over the past three years, or simply haven’t travelled nearly as much as they would have liked to, we’re seeing travellers booking longer vacations than in the past. This trend explains the previous point (multi-country vacations) as well as leads into the next one (explore more), as travellers want to make the most of every vacation they take in 2023. Instead of one week in Spain, travellers are adding on Portugal or extending the journey into France. Instead of going to just the Masai Mara, travellers are also going on safari in Mount Kenya and Amboseli. Whether they pack on several destinations on a single itinerary, or experience all that a single destination has to offer, travellers are taking vacations that are longer than ever. People don’t want to miss out!

4. Explore More

Perugia in Umbria, Italy

As mentioned above, people are deep diving into regions instead of jumping from city-to-city or simply seeing the highlights of a single city. This often means people are heading off the tourist trail to explore less-frequented destinations or regions that don’t get as much attention within popular countries. For instance, in Italy, travellers are forgoing Rome and Venice and instead delving into Umbria and Puglia. In New Zealand, travellers are spending an entire vacation on either the North or South Island, in order to take their time exploring Fiordland or savouring vintages in wine country. Destinations that are a bit more remote or less-crowded have also become more popular for travellers. For instance, many travellers are now adding on Tasmania to classic Australian trips to Sydney and Melbourne. Whether they are focusing on history, food, or natural landscapes, every trip is more deliberate and more in-depth than before. 

5. Travel with Family & Friends

family on beach of Marina del Rey

People have missed a lot of quality time with family and friends over the past three years. They’re making up for it by going on vacation with the most important people in their lives. This can often mean a few friends heading on a long-discussed vacation together or a family unit finally getting away to a sunny beach destination. Families are hitting up Oahu and Maui or staying closer to home and taking an epic road trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks. They’re pairing with close friends for an unforgettable journey to Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan or searching for wildlife and enjoying the beach in Arenal and Tortuguero in Costa Rica. Travellers want to make unforgettable travel memories alongside other people!

It also means larger groups exploring the world together, often as a part of a group vacation. Goway Groups Only offers custom group vacations for any group of 10-or-more travellers. Every group is unique, with different interests and reasons for travelling together. Some groups are multi-generational families while others are religious organizations or hobby clubs. No matter the reason you want to explore together, Goway Groups Only can help you craft an unforgettable group vacation and take out the hassle in booking hotel rooms, air tickets, tours, and meals for large groups of people. Get in touch with Goway Groups Only if you want to start planning a group vacation today.

The world of travel continues to evolve. As we move through the year, new trends will emerge and people will be drawn to explore the world in new ways. We’re committed to evolving alongside our travellers and being ready to help you go globetrotting, no matter how you want to travel. It’s a new year and a new opportunity to explore the world your way. When you’re ready to start planning, get in touch with a Goway Destination Specialist.

13 Jan 2023, 5:35 p.m.

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