Travel trends shift to sustainable options
In this follow-up report, WTTC joined forces again with leading global travel service provider, Trip.com Group and its major consumer brands Trip.com, Ctrip and Skyscanner, with additional data sourced from Deloitte, to analyse the trends that shaped the Travel & Tourism sector last year and will continue to do so over 2023.
The report, “A world in motion: shifting consumer travel trends in 2022 and beyond”, shows that sustainability is a key element of the travel agenda, with travellers eager to reduce their carbon footprint and support sustainable tourism.
According to a survey included in the report, three quarters of travellers are considering travelling more sustainably in the future and nearly 60 per cent have chosen more sustainable travel options in the last couple of years.
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Another survey also found that around three quarters of high-end travellers are willing to pay extra to make their trips more sustainable.
Last year, following more than two years of travel disruption, travellers made clear their wanderlust is very much alive, with a 109 per cent increase of international overnight arrivals, compared to 2021.
According to the report, last year consumers were willing to stretch their budget for their holiday plans, with 86 per cent of travellers planning on spending the same amount or more on international travel than in 2019, with US tourists leading the list as big spenders.
But 2023 is looking even better in terms of travellers’ spend. Despite concerns about inflation and the cost-of-living crisis around the world, nearly a third (31 per cent) of travellers said they intend to spend more on international travel this year than in 20223.
Additionally, according to Deloitte’s ‘Global State of the Consumer Tracker’, last year more than half (53 per cent) of global consumers surveyed during the summer said they plan to stay in a hotel over the following three months.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The demand for travel is now stronger than ever and our report shows that this year we will see a significant bounce back. 2023 is set to be a very strong year for Travel & Tourism.
“Sustainability is top of travellers’ agenda, and consumers highlight the value they put on protecting nature and travelling responsibly.”
Jane Sun, Trip.com Group CEO, said: “Travel & Tourism is a powerful force in driving the global economy, creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, and lifting communities out of poverty.
“The Asia-Pacific Region, with its rapidly growing middle-class and dynamic economies, is well-positioned to capitalise on the growth of the industry and take its place as a leader in the global tourism economy.
“I’m optimistic about the positive momentum for the global resumption and growth of travel in 2023, primarily driven by mainland Chinese consumers, which will help accelerate worldwide recovery and development.”
Scott Rosenberger, Global Transportation, Hospitality & Services Sector leader, Deloitte Global: “Travel is rebounding from the pandemic while innovating and meeting the demands of more modern alternative travel-types, sustainable travel, luxury travel, and much more.
“Even the rise in inflation-driven financial concerns is not slowing the pace; incredibly travel is being prioritized and flexible/remote work arrangements are creating new opportunities.
“We are actively engaging with our clients as they embrace these new trends and create memorable experiences for consumers.”
Other findings revealed in the report include:
• 2022 sun and sea package holiday sales are estimated to be up 75 per cent compared to the previous year5
• Last year during the summer, international arrivals in European sun and beach destinations were just 15 per cent below 2019 levels
• According to WTTC’s recent ‘Cities Economic Impact Research’, in 2022 visits to major cities are expected to see a 58 per cent year-on-year increase, less than 14 per cent below 2019 levels
• Luxury holidays will prove particularly popular, with sales of luxury hotels expected to reach $92 billion by 2025 (compared to $76 billion in 2019)
• In a survey, nearly 60 per cent of travellers said they were either already paying to offset their carbon emissions.